Documentary Style: 4 Little Girls vs. Bowling for Columbine

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Documentary Style: 4 Little Girls vs. Bowling for Columbine

Two documentaries that use two different styles of portraying bombings are 4 Little Girls and Bowling for Columbine.4 Little Girls by Spike Lee is a documentary on the 1963 Birmingham bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. This bombing is infamous for the killing of 4 innocent little black girls. Spike Lee uses his style to portray the feelings of the families of these girls as well as influential leaders during this time. Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore is also a documentary about the killing of innocent people, but Moore uses a different style. Moore describes reasons for violence in America rather than getting personal with people in which the bombing affected. These two different styles are both documentaries, yet they are just presented to an audience in two different ways. A documentary is a source of information for citizens about certain events that are portrayed through film. These views of the events are bias towards one side of the issue. Even though the events are bias they use true footage, not necessarily fact, in order to make sure that the viewers have a reason to believe their point. Louis Menand explains that an essential documentary's purpose "Is the impulse to catch life off camera, to film what was not planned to happen, or what would have happened whether someone was there to film it or not" (1). Most authors have their own style when it comes to relaying the information in the documentary. The style of the documentary is important in making the film a good one or a bad one. The elements that make the film a good or bad documentary are things such as conventions which include things like setting, camera angling, music, etc., facts, and the author's influence on the audience. Alan Rosenthal writes "Most films need a key, or handle, an angle from which to tell the story in the most interesting, riveting, and entertaining fashion" (46). Both authors, Lee and Moore,...
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