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Bowling For Columbine As A Carnivelsque

1399 words - 6 pages

To what extent can BFC be viewed as drawing on key elements of Bakhtin’s notion of carnivalesque?

Bowling for Columbine is a post-structural film produced by Mike Moore. It leaves a message about America and its people. Today, the world is not a safe place. However, the world is made unsafe by the people who don’t believe it is safe. This is what the film is based on: fear and guns. Bowling For Columbine is a carnivalesque to an extent as it contains many elements of a carnivalesque. These elements are shown through repetition, polyphony of voices and the creation of another world.

Many responders would believe that this movie is a misleading act based on Mike Moore’s self-promotion. When looking beneath the surface however, we can see that the film is trying to say something about America, even though there is no clear answer to the question being asked. This is why the film is a post-structural text. There is more than one answer and texts are interpreted depending on the responder’s context. It is not a documentary however because a documentary is a discussion based on evidence for and against. Although Bowling for Columbine provides facts, it is biased. Mike Moore presents a film that is dialogical in nature. He arranges questions and scenes in the film to get the answer or response that he wants. Also, the camera used is analogous to Moore’s own gun. He targets certain people and appears on the scene so as to make himself seem bigger. His camera is also used to ‘shoot’ people with questions that he already knows the answer to. This happens to people such as the bank employees and youths Bent and BJ and this is why responders may think the film is a reason for self-promotion.

There is no clear cut answer to the question that is constantly being asked throughout the film. This is why Bowling For Columbine’s narrative is polyphonic. Polyphony allows multiple voices to be expressed. As there are too many different people in the world that have different contexts such as age and cultural background, one clear answer can not be stated in the film. This silence is important because it shows that what is important is missing, the answer to why so many people are killed each year. Polyphony also makes it possible for anything to be said as there are no dominant voices. It does not matter what ranking in society you are or where you come from, all people can have a say to influence ideas. It is the resistant voices that extend the views and pushes boundaries so that more opinions and questions can be raised regarding the abundance of fear and levels of crime in America. There are so many different opinions and voices that it destroys the one single ideology and therefore, forces responders make up their own mind as to what the answer to the question is.

The repetition of ideas and random images has a significant impact on the answer to the film and the responders. There are many ideas that are seemingly insignificant to guns that are...

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