2017 Tribeca: Michael Moore Talks Bowling for Columbine

America tends to have a problem with guns. While the United Kingdom correctly banned handguns after its first and only school shooting, the United States has yet to understand the correlation with mass shootings and gun ownership.

Nonetheless, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is set on controlling guns even after he hoped his film Bowling for Columbine would curb America’s obsession with the weapon.

At the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, Moore was in attendance to screen his film as part of Tribeca’s “Retrospective” film series. The event occurred on April 20, 2017, exactly 18 years after the Columbine Massacre, where two students brought 99 explosives and more than double that many rounds of ammunition– resulting in the death of thirteen and injury of 21 students and teachers. The film’s title refers to the perpetrators’ choice to skip their French philosophy class and instead go bowling.

Have the times changed since the making of his film? Moore told us:

They count a mass shooting as four or more people killed so last year there was an average of one a day. That was not the case in 1999 when this happened.”

Since Columbine, 141 victims were involved in school shootings, and that’s not counting all the other victims of the more than 60 mass shootings since 1999. Yet, it’s like Moore says, “But it’s not unusual.”

We questioned what he meant.

“We as a people—there are so many good things about this country and there are some things that we never got right. And it’s probably because we started out with our two original sins: it’s a country that was born in genocide and built on the backs of slaves. It’s who we are and we’ve never atoned for that, we never made the proper reparations for it, and I think that we’re better than what we are and we need to aspire to that.”


Moore is no stranger to controversy (obvious even if you haven’t seen any of his films) and had recently sent out tweets against Trump. His last film, Michael Moore in Trumpland, which was released weeks before the election, received plenty of backlash and acclaim. You can watch the rest of our interview with Moore below.


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