Bowling for Columbine a Documentary? By: Michael Moore

Essay by brbbrb April 2005

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Bowling for Columbine, directed by Michael Moore, brought in a gross profit of twenty-one million dollars, and won an Oscar for best documentary in 2002. In this so-called documentary, Moore deals with the issues of gun control in America compared to other countries. Moore dismisses several ideas on why there are a large number of gun deaths in America, and argues that the excess of gun violence in America is caused by fear. The argument I would like to discuss does not have anything to do with whether or not Bowling for Columbine brings up new and ingenious ideas about gun control, but whether or not these ideas are presented in a factual and logical way, as to give a the audience to chance the formulate their own opinions, which should be the directors goal when filming a documentary.

There are many things that come to mind when the word documentary is said.

Some of the things that come to mind are that a documentary is educational and is usually not too exciting. That is not to say that a documentary cannot be exciting, but documentaries express the facts of the topic and do not contain factious ideas opinions to make it more exciting. According to the definition of a documentary is presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film. There are several points in Bowling for Columbine when Michael Moore fails to use the definition of a documentary in his film. Using factious ideas and opinions, and expressing those ideas and opinions in a humorous manner is what Michael Moore has done in Bowling for Columbine.

There are two problems with Moore using humor to get his point across. First of all Moore is trying to get his point...