nuts or just nuts?
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Date: June, 2003
Click on the cover, left, to buy the film and raise money for Christian Aid projects
Review by Charlotte Haines
Do you think its a little dangerous to be handing out guns in a bank? asks the irreverent documentarist Michael Moore.
At the beginning of his Oscar winning film, Moore opens a bank account and receives a free straight shooter as a reward; a seemingly bizarre occurrence for a British viewer but as we soon discover, part and parcel of American gun culture.
After the Columbine shootings, Moore, best known for his satirical 'TV Nation' and books such as 'Stupid White Men', endeavoured to find out why there is so much gun violence in America.
film's tag line Are we a nation of gun nuts or just nuts? seems a
reasonable question as we learn that Canada may have
The film quickly progresses from suspicion of guns to explore the fear that is apparently inculcated in American citizens. A South Park-esque cartoon takes us on a superbly biting but funny canned history of America and its dread of attack whether from slaves, each other or terrorists.
We are also asked to question the effect of US government foreign policy as Louis Armstrongs rendition of 'What a Wonderful World' accompanies newsreels of American past misdemeanours such as aiding coups and arming and training Osama Bin Laden.
Mind you, I was left wondering what Moore would make of the British history and foreign policy.
the film loses track; the interview with an elderly Charlton Heston, president
of the National Rifle Association is disappointing.
However other sections such as Marilyn Mansons delightfully lucid interview more than compensate for these faults.
This is what we have come to expect with Moore: to face an onslaught of polemic with more hits than misses, which provides us with enough disconcerting questions for weeks to come.
I will be chewing over my attitude towards violence on television: I cried and
cried as I watched security videos of the Columbine shootings, alongside the soundtrack
of 911 calls including journalists blocking the lines at they attempt to get the
Why was I more devastated by this than any recent war footage?
There are no extras on the UK version of the DVD.