It’s a wonderful Sunday and today’s challenge was ridiculously difficult to decide on. I think my fellow blogger, Rhey of Sunshine, would agree with me on this.
Firstly, I’m not much of a documentary girl, and if I am it’s usually a series on the Discovery Channel or National Geographic. My initial thought was to answer with The Blue Planet. But then I realised that it defeats the purpose of the 30 Day Movie Challenge, ’cause it’s a series documentary and not a documentary movie. (But seriously, The Blue Planet is amazing. Pierce Brosnan and David Attenborough as narrators: worth it.)
My favourite documentaries are either space related, psychology related and the paranormal (Ghost Hunters), sometimes.
But my favourite documentary movie does not fall into any of those categories, and surprised me with how riveted I was by the subject. Said movie being …
“It is a 2002 American documentary film written, directed, and narrated by Michael Moore. The film explores what Moore suggests are the causes for the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and other acts of violence with guns. Moore focuses on the background and environment in which the massacre took place and some common public opinions and assumptions about related issues. The film also looks into the nature of violence in the United States.” – Wiki
Frankly there were so many elements that really intrigued me (and horrified me) about the event, and Moore’s documentary delves deep into the main problems with the gun laws in America. I personally liked how he demonstrated to the audience how horrifyingly easy it is to purchase handgun ammunition from a K-Mart – and how a bank in Michigan even gives out free guns if you open an account with them.
What saddens me further is how, after this documentary, this problem is still far too prevalent. Especially with the recent UC Santa Barbara college shootings that occurred last Friday. Michael Moore even stated that he was completely out of words at the tragedy that happened on his Twitter:
“We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) “interests.” The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol.”
Maybe the reason why this documentary got me completely frustrated with the subject at hand is because I can’t believe how many teenagers have died because of guns in America – that innocent teenagers are put in this process of feeling afraid for their lives in a place of education. And how gun violence can also be trivialised by both the media and certain politician camps.
Despite the fact that some may criticise Bowling for Columbine as not befitting of its documentary category, it has won a number of prestigious awards such as a 55th Anniversary Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, an Academy Award for Best Documentary Features in 2003 and the title of Best Documentary of All Time by IDA.
Personally, I feel like I need to thank today’s challenge for encouraging me to pursue more documentaries. Now I have so many documentaries on my “To Watch List” on Imdb.com, and a whole list of youtube documentaries to watch as well. It also watched two other documentaries to get me in the mood for this post that I need to credit: Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Panopticon. Both, very intriguing documentaries I suggest you check out too, and available on Youtube for free viewing. The former is on Jiro, a three star Michelin chef who makes exquisite sushi, and the latter is on the increasing lack of privacy of the general masses in the Netherlands.
So, till next time!