Bowling for Columbine is a 2002 American documentary film written, directed, and narrated by Michael Moore. The film explores what Moore suggests are the main 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.
The film brought Moore international attention as a rising filmmaker and won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature, a special 55th Anniversary Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and the César Award for Best Foreign Film.
The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County in the state of Colorado. In addition to the shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and bombs rigged in cars. The perpetrators, two senior students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 additional people, with three others being injured while attempting to escape the school. The pair then committed suicide.
Although their motives remain unclear, the personal journals of the perpetrators document that they wished their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing, as well as other deadly attacks that occurred in the United States in the 1990s. The attack has been referred to by USA Today as a “suicidal attack [that was] planned as a grand—if badly implemented—terrorist bombing.”The massacre is reported as being “the deadliest high school shooting in US history.”
The massacre sparked debate over gun control laws, the availability of firearms within the United States and gun violence involving youths. Much discussion also centered on the nature of high school cliques, subcultures and bullying, in addition to the influence of violent movies and video games in American society. The shooting resulted in an increased emphasis on school security, and a moral panic aimed at goth culture, social outcasts, gun culture, the use of pharmaceutical anti-depressants by teenagers, teenage Internet use and violent video games.
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