Driven by moral agitation, Michael Moore explores the culture of violence in an America traumatised by terrorism, teenage killers and economic inequality. Moore puts the hard questions to trigger-happy suburbanites and militia members, alongside the likes of National Rifle Association spokesman Charlton Heston, shock rocker Marilyn Manson, South Park co-creator Matt Stone and surviving students of the Columbine High School shootings.
 

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It's an extraordinary achievement for this social satirist and commentator...

For the first time in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, a documentary was invited into the Competition this year. It was Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine.... It's an investigation into gun ownership and gun usage in the United States of America. Moore shambles around with his baseball cap on, his stomach hangin' out, almost a teddy bear figure, meeting up with people to find out about what makes them click with guns. Inspired by the massacre of 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in 1999, and tempered by events on September 11th last year, Moore examines the "culture of fear" in America and, as Moore says "how that fear leads us to acts of violence domestically and internationally". The morning of the Columbine shootings the United States led carpet-bombings of Kosovo. 

This deadly serious documentary is also funny on occasions, but none of the laughs are cheap. Moore seems to encompass so much that's terribly important in the world today with the United States on the brink of yet another international gun expedition. Almost by a process of elimination America emerges as an excessively violent country. The film is a tremendously emotional and provocative piece of work, it asks questions and doesn't necessarily answer them, but I defy anyone to come out of this film and not debate the issues raised. It's an extraordinary achievement for this social satirist and commentator, who's obviously tremendously committed to the future of his country, and the world.