Persuasive Article - Bowling for Columbine - Michael Moore

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Bowling for Columbine: documentary or fraud?
By Emily Wanklyn

Film maker, author and political activist, Michael Moore, created controversy in 2002 with his American documentary “Bowling for Columbine”. The documentary explores the Columbine school shooting, gun laws, and why Americans are so obsessed with violence and fear. Moore cleverly uses a variety of cinematic techniques to manipulate his audience. For instance, editing, music & sound, use of archival footage, and political agenda/bias.

One of the cinematic techniques that Moore uses that is most affective in his documentary is editing. For example; Charlton Heston’s speech. Charlton Heston, being the president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), was an easy target to blame for America’s astronomical amount of people that are killed by firearms. Moore uses two of Charlton’s speeches by strategically cutting bits and pieces from each to create a speech that was never even spoken. “I have only five words for you: ‘from my cold dead hands’ ” -Charlton Heston

‘Cold dead hands’ was nowhere in the speech and was actually given a year later in Charlotte, N.C. In doing this, Moore tactically put this footage in after showing the weeping children outside Columbine school. This made it seem that Charlton Heston and his team rushed to Littleton to hold gun rallies and demonstrations directly after the tragedy, portraying to the audience that Heston and the NRA are arrogant, insensitive and selfish.

In the beginning of the film Michael Moore goes to a bank in the USA, and opens an account to receive a gun. However, through the use of editing this is not the case. In Michael Wilson’s film, ‘Michael Moore hates America’ , Wilson interviews the woman working at the bank and she corrects the situation in saying that in fact it took Michael Moore over 30 days to receive the gun. Moore left out the important factors of the process and made it out that it took only one day. In his efforts, Moore did...
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