Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5
Canada/USA/Germany, 2002. United Artists, Alliance Atlantis Communications, Salter Street Films International, Vif Babelsberger Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. Zweite KG, Dog Eat Dog Films, Iconolatry Productions Inc., TiMe Film- und TV-Produktions GmbH. Screenplay by Michael Moore. Produced by Charles Bishop, Jim Czarnecki, Michael Donovan, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Moore. Music by Jeff Gibbs. Film Editing by Kurt Engfehr.
Celebrated documentarian Michael Moore takes on America’s passion for guns in this searing, informative documentary. His interviews, which range from questioning an unresponsive Charlton Heston to a very eloquent Marilyn Manson, centre around the events leading up to some of America’s most devastating gun crimes, particularly inspired by the shootings at Columbine high school in Colorado.
All the conversations, with celebrities and murder suspects alike, are fascinating, as is Moore’s incredible flair for narrative. His careful use of the situations he himself creates on camera makes for great viewing even if one should be careful not to take it all as fact: documentary film is just as suspect as Hollywood fantasy, and just because real footage is being used doesn’t mean someone isn’t manipulating them to support his own bias.
However, he’s not cheating anybody either, since all the information he is putting across still deals with a difficult and seemingly impossible issue that is affecting all of North America.
The Criterion Collection: #928
Academy Award: Best Documentary Feature
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Toronto International Film Festival: 2002