Published Dec 01, 2002In times when you think the whole world has gone down the toilet and no one seems to care everyone is blind to the events and problems that are occurring around us people like Michael Moore speak up and address your exact concerns. And even though they might not put an end to the dilemma, it's still a wonderful feeling to know society isn't completely blind. Bowling for Columbine is the first documentary submitted for competition at Cannes and for good reason. Michael Moore tackles the ongoing controversy that surrounds America's gun control policies in a time when criticising the "American way" is unpatriotic and downright frowned upon. This isn't an analysis of foreign attacks but the obscene amount of killing occurring within the country's households, streets and schools. Moore points out that even though a country like Canada has a ridiculous amount of firearms in our possession, we choose not to kill each other in the extreme numbers that Americans do and he boils down this behaviour to a couple of reasons: that America is obsessed with violence, and that it's a nation built on fear. Just as he's done in past documentaries, including the brilliant Roger & Me, Moore has a way of discussing issues with the people he interviews in a very polite and mild-mannered way that allows the interviewee to unravel themselves in front of the camera. There are numerous instances where statements from the likes of NRA President Charlton Heston makes you shake your head in disgust as Moore backs his subjects into a corner with mostly comical tactics, yet more effective than cutting-edge journalism from major news networks. Focusing on a subject like gun-control and the Columbine shootings in 1999, it's hard not to let this documentary make you feel a little uncomfortable at times. But it's addressed in manner that is refreshing from the run-of-the-mill tripe that airs on primetime news programs and asks the questions that everyone seems to be afraid to speak up about. This essence, along with comical cartoons and often hilarious moments, makes Bowling for Columbine an extremely impressive study in American culture and the amendment they hold on to for dear life. An exceptional documentary that you wish every American could watch and learn from.