A documentary can be defined as a film that provides a factual record or report. But how factual is a documentary, really? This presentation aims to investigate the persuasive devices used in Bowling For Columbine. This is a documentary by well known director Michael Moore, which uses a range of filming techniques to persuade the audience that the Columbine shootings were a result of so much fear, greed and consumerism in America. This is his extremely biased idea of the truth. In Michael Moore’s exposé style documentary he intentionally selects and omits footage to privilege his views and ideologies regarding the ‘truth’ but also to disparage the views of those who conflict with the ideals he puts forth. Bowling For Columbine particularly marginalises the views of the media, the NRA and Columbine’s local Kmart. He does this to expose the fact that they are the reasons America has so much fear, greed and consumerism within its society.
The documentary Bowling For Columbine is based around the terrible occurrences that took place on the 20th of April, 1999. In which two boys, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, walked into Columbine State High School and murdered thirteen people including one teacher and injured a further twenty one in the process. Michael Moore uses this event to his advantage by investigating America’s fear culture and why it has developed into something so large. During the documentary, Moore uses a wide selection of film techniques to invite the audience to accept his version of the truth. He does this by carefully choosing and disregarding certain information. This technique is known as selection and omission. Moore also takes use of editing and sequencing shots, which helps to produce his adaptation of the truth. Michael Moore deliberately developed Bowling For Columbine to privilege and marginalise certain groups and to position the viewers to believe the ‘truth’. Moore aims to expose the fact that Americans have an unusually large culture...
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