2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Bias in Moore’s Bowling for Columbine
Daniel C. Tucker
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The idea of a documentary being an artistic or even personalized expression of a director is forgotten. In his essay "The Tradition: Fact and Fiction" Robert Coles reminds his readers that "what we offer others in the way of our documentary reports...is our mix of what we have observed and experienced…” Michael Moore's documentary, Bowling for Columbine, exemplifies this personalization of factual information in a documentary. Though the personalization is not necessarily a bad thing, in Bowling for Columbine the result is an expression of Michael Moore's biased viewpoint, which tears the viewer and the film itself away from the thesis. This abandonment of the thesis can be seen in the way Moore deals with the NRA, his choice interviewees who are purported to represent America or Canada, his portrayal of statistics which supposedly make his points factual, and his mocking attitude toward any opposing argument.

Keywords: Michael Moore's bias, abandoned thesis, Personalization, Documentary, our mix, choice interviewees, mockking attitude, supposedly factual


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 19-4
Location: VH 1320
Time: 10:45

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