How Bowling for Columbine Is a Satirical Docu-Film

1 January 2017

The use of satire used by Michael Moore in his docudrama “Bowling for Columbine” helps the audience engage on the concept of tackling serious issues like the Columbine massacre and the influences to enlighten or mirror the feelings of how and what society has on the thoughts of a particular environment. Moore uses a variety of technique, ranging from exaggeration, irony, parody and juxtaposition to reveal various answers to questions raised by the society involving the use of guns and to represent its concerns.

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The film uses effective satire to show America’s obsession with firearms. Moore uses exaggeration to show the audience the cruelty and stupidity behind America and weaponry, often interviewing people to impact the viewers dramatically and emotively. Through a series of gun related statistics and death figures, the use of exaggeration is clear throughout the film to prove his point. Another technique used to keep the audience’s attention and keep them entertained is the use of parody to briefly show America’s history through a quick but very informative cartoon.

The cartoon is effective in ways to convey the truth that America had always been a society run by terror. It takes the audience through a very simple but a detailed recount of all horrific things that happened in America’s history involving “black people”. The humour in this can be described as “brutal”, but also “shockingly funny”. The cartoon is narrated in a light-hearted tone, as if it was something that is “normal” to be done. Juxtaposition, as a technique, also takes a large part in representing its concern to the audience.

Using the juxtaposition of images and sounds, Moore has created a montage of images, to show what kind of “flawless” society America really is. At the same time, the song “What a wonderful World” plays, while the scene changes into a montage of images involving heavy gun violence, shootings and military forces in other nations. The song is a large contradiction to the images of violence and destruction. The major impact of irony takes place in the last scene, when the footage of the 9/11 attack is shown while the song continues to play and hits climax.

This technique of juxtaposing images and music attracts the audience’s attention, and clearly shows us that we are not really living in a “wonderful world”. In conclusion, it is clear that Moore has used a variety of satirical techniques to effectively prove his point of America being a violent, and a bloodthirsty country. Rather than the use of arguments, he has effectively used humour to prove his point and to engage the audience. Using this way, he makes sure it appeals to the audience. He has successfully shown and proven to us his point in his satirical docudrama.

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