Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine
(October 19, 2002; Review by Val)
We have just returned from watching Michael Moore's latest film, Bowling for Columbine. Right now my heart is overflowing with a myriad of emotions: saddness, anger, disgust, rage...and unimaginable admiration.
Michael Moore is one of the few brave Americans to have the balls to ask our nation: "Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence?"
Now, don't get your panties in a bunch. This is not a film about gun control. This is a film about fear.
You need only to go as far as your own television set to see why we are such a paranoid nation. Our media networks are obsessed with ratings. And their blatant and appalling sensationalism has driven us to the point where no one feels safe anymore.
Bowling for Columbine drives home the message that the network ratings game has taken an unimaginable toll on our society.
Do you remember the story of Yoshihiro Hattori? He was the Japanese exchange student fatally shot one Halloween night in Louisiana. Yoshihiro and his friend, Webb Haymaker, were trying to find their way to a Halloween party. Instead, they happened upon the home of the paranoid Rodney Peairs who welcomed them with the open end of a loaded .44 Magnum.
Through years of exposure to violence in the media, we've turned into a country full of selfish, paranoid people.
A study of population data for various countries showed homicide rates doubling within the 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television, even though television was introduced at different times in each site examined.
In one of the film's most striking scenes, a pointedly well-spoken Marilyn Manson argues that fear is a major fuel for modern capitalism.
Now is the time to address these issues in our society. Go see this film...and bring a box of tissues.
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