Movie Review: Bowling for Columbine

Bowling for ColumbineI just saw Bowling for Columbine, which is now my favorite Michael Moore film, and one of the best films of 2002. I am going to step out on a limb and say it is an “important film”. This is the film in which Moore takes off the gloves.Bowling for Columbine

I have a question, though: what makes the film funny? Maybe it was the theater I watched it in, with the people I watched it with. I saw the film in Northampton, MA, a town which is very self assured about how right it is on every social issue. It is a liberal town, full of very educated people. The audience was really getting a lot of laughs out of ‘other’ less cultured people they saw in the film. Or at least that’s what I thought was happening.

After taking a graduate course in class this semester, I think it is safe to say that the issue of gun control and gun ownership is class coded. At one point in the film Moore is visiting the Michigan Militia, famous for being a group that Tim McVie was associated with, and Moore is visibly surprised when a Militia member tells him he has a white collar job. It seems that being a gun toting, fatigue wearing neo-racist doesn’t happen in the white collar world. Take away the neo-racist part and don’t we have one of those paintballers?