Deceiving Images of Bowling for Columbine

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The gun control issue is one of the most debated in the United States. The US is one of few countries that allow its citizens the right to have firearms. Due to this, there are many more gun related fatalities compared to other countries that do not allow their citizens to keep firearms. Bowling for Columbine, directed by Michael Moore, focuses mostly on one tragic even that happened at Columbine High School, and uses it in order to persuade viewers to side against National Rifle Association, which is a big pro-gun group, and the whole gun control issue. Moore makes the reason why the US has more gun related fatalities than other countries to be because of the right to carry firearms and easy access to them. In the movie, Moore uses a lot of editing and splices together a lot of scenes in order to get his points across. In fact, he does this so much that the whole film is misleading. The fast moving scenes are used in order to hide the splicing work, which can be noticed by careful viewing of the film. Overall, the film deceives the viewers by using various editing techniques, thus the director¡¯s integrity is questionable.

Moore splices together speeches and interviews in order to make them say what he wants the viewers to hear. For example, the film has lots of scenes of Heston, the president of NRA, giving what seems like an ignorant speech. Heston says in the opening of a rally that is supposedly held in Denver right after the Columbine shooting, ¡°I have only five words for you. From my cold, dead hands!¡± (Bowling) However, that speech was given at a different rally that was held at different location and different time. (Hardy) The film then cuts to a different scene and narration, in order to keep the viewers from noticing that Heston¡¯s outfit and the background had changed when the film cut back to the speech. Then the film shows Heston saying in response of Denver¡¯s mayor asking NRA not to come, ¡°As Americans, we are free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don¡¯t come here? We are already here!¡± (Bowling) It gives the impression of Heston being ignorant and insensitive to the viewers. However, there are five paragraphs between those sentences that had been edited out. (Hardy) The full speech is saying something completely different. In order to hide this, the film cuts to shot of audience between the sentences. (Hardy) This clearly shows the use of dishonest editing techniques by Moore, in order for the speeches to give the impression that he desires to the viewers. The interview of Heston at his house is also heavily edited. Judging from the clock on the wall that can be seen in the background, the interview lasts about twenty five minutes. (Hardy) However, only five minutes of the interview is shown in the film. During the interview, Heston seems like a very ignorant person who only cares about the interest of NRA and his own. Most of the statements made by him during the interview make the viewers see him as someone who lives in his own world and does not care about the society in general. However, it is possible to question if Heston really is such an ignorant person since only one fifth of the whole interview is shown in the film; Moore could have edited the interview so that it showed what he wanted to show. The splicing of scenes makes it possible to seriously question the honesty of the director. ¡°Documentaries should be seen as "reality fiction"; they may seem like reality as they are being filmed, but they become more like fiction through editing.¡± (Fraser) Bowling for Columbine is a good example of a documentary that has become a fiction, perhaps more so than it should have, through heavy editing in order to express the director¡¯s view. Misleading scenes were used in the film to deceive the viewers. When the film is showing scenes of violence and captions of the kinds of violent activities the US supposedly has either committed or supported throughout the years. The scenes used are...
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