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The Persuasive Techniques Used "In Bowling For Columbine".

2248 words - 9 pages

The movie "Bowling for Columbine" was made after the shooting in Columbine high school and tries to explore the reasons for America's violent nature. Moore believes that there is one main reason for this, the fact that there are relaxed gun laws in America. Therefore, Moore uses a number of different persuasive techniques in order to try and persuade the viewer to believe that this is the case. He uses certain visuals, music, sequences the scenes in a specific order and uses facts and opinions to achieve this.The first scene that shows persuasive techniques is "The Wonderful World" sequence. In this sequence, it shows horrible images of dead people, with various facts and figures shown at the bottom of the screen. In the background, the song "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong is being played. There are many persuasive techniques used in this sequence, being the visuals, the camera movement and editing, the sequencing, the audio and uses of facts and opinions.The visuals used in this scene are very persuasive as they are very striking and are horrible images. We see images of suffering and death which are shocking and appeal to the emotions which, in turn generates sympathy. The images used are of suffering or death of real people which makes the reader feel very disgusted and shocked at how the USA was linked to this and would side with the viewpoint of Moore, that the USA is very insensitive.The camera movement and editing of the sequence is also very persuasive. The main way in which Michael Moore persuades the viewer is by only showing one side of the argument. By introducing this element of bias, the viewer only has one view to believe and by doing this, the viewer believes this viewpoint to be true, as it does not know of any other. The viewpoint that Michael Moore is showing is that the USA is very insensitive. Moore makes the government seem insensitive by displaying pictures of dead corpses caused by US government-funded wars. He then amplifies this by juxtaposing the images of guns and gore with those of peace which makes the horrific images of corpses seem even more horrible. The trust between citizen and government is broken down even further due to the way Moore has structured The Wonderful World sequence. We first see the image of the way things were before and non-violent images are used, for example a man throwing flowers. Next it cuts to what happens after the US get involved and then images of war and death are used, which gives the viewer the impression the government do nothing except make a negative difference to the world. The editing of this scene coupled with the camera movement means that Moore can only show selective images which would persuade the viewer.The sequencing is another very important persuasive technique. To gain the maximum effect possible from "The Wonderful World" sequence Moore positions it immediately after the interview with Lockheed Martin's press officer. The officer says the weapons they...

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