Bowling for Columbine, directed by Michael Moore, is a successful documentary that positions the audience to view the reasons why Americans have a large number of gun related deaths compared to other countries, such as the nearby country Canada. Bowling for Columbine is entitled such, in remembrance of the Columbine High School massacre, where students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down thirteen people in 1999 before committing suicide. The documentary explores a variety of factors that may have lead to and encouraged America's gun loving culture. Furthermore, the audience is positioned to respond negatively to the soft gun laws in America which have inevitably lead to so many deaths. Moore intentionally leads the audience through a deeply emotional and informative journey, clearly highlighting the terrible fact, that American gun culture is based upon fear and racism. By using film techniques such as montage, juxtaposition and satire, in a remarkably powerful way, Moore invites the viewer to reflect on the values and attitudes about human frailty and depravity and to question whether the gun laws in America need to be altered.
The structure of the documentary is vitally important in the conveyance of particular values and attitudes, and follows a circular pattern where it begins and ends, with the same powerful and moving symbolic image of a bowling alley. This metaphor emphasizes that Americans are killing people with guns, knocking them down as easily as a bowling ball knocks down skittles, providing not only a sense of finality to the documentary while also allowing the audience to consider the power of guns, and the destruction and mayhem they can cause if left unchecked.
The technique of characterisation is also employed effectively, and Moore presents himself as the main character and protagonist in the documentary resulting in the audience's opinions being influenced more easily.