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Ça craint

I went, yesterday afternoon, to see Bowling for Columbine all by myself. Renata and Jennifer had gone to the Gorge de Sioule or however you spell it, but I'd had a headache and research/blogging to do at the cybercafé so I stayed behind. I discovered that Bowling for Columbine was being shown in VO. I was thrilled and ready to go tell all of my students on Monday, and it occurred to me that before I went and recommended it, I should probably see it. So I went and bought a ticket.

It could have had something to do with the five hours of sleep I'd had the night before, but I started crying in the first scene. Throughout the whole movie I was crying and laughing at the same time and not really knowing which I was doing, because despite being about firearms, racism, poverty, violence and fear, it was often presented in a humorous way.

I know the movie touched me more than any of the French people in the audience, because mine was the only sobbing I heard. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to throw things at people on the screen. It was such an intense emotional experience that I can't decide if I want to go back and see the movie tonight or never again. It was mostly about things I already knew, but to actually see it all on the screen created an response second only to the hysterical, hiccupping sobs that lasted for a half hour after the end of Saving Private Ryan.

In addition to moving me more than the French people, I think the movie touched me more than it would touch other Americans, because Michael Moore comes from Michigan and so much of the movie was filmed there. Part of it was that I saw bits of Michigan - I saw Detroit from across the river in Windsor, I saw Genessee County and knew that Jen Dively was from there - and it made me homesick.

The other reason I think it touched me as a Michigander was just to realize what kind of state I'm living in. When they talked about violent images in the media and how the news scares people, it was not Unnamed Newscasters they were showing as examples - it was Huel Perkins and Monica Gayle. It was MY newscast that was the example for America. I knew that James Nichols and the Michigan Militia were milling about in the thumb, but to actually see the whackos freaked me out.

After I got back from the movie, I got on the phone to Agnès and Jennifer and Renata, telling them that they had to go see it and tell everyone they knew and all of their students to go see it as well. I've spent all day trying to explain it to my classes, who don't seem particularly interested. If you are in Vichy, I suggest that you high-tail it to the Mat ciné in the Rue Sornin, tonight and tomorrow at 14h45 and 20h45. Not that anyone in Vichy is actually reading this, but a girl can dream.

Anyway, I highly suggest it. It's very entertaining and while it may not be as emotionally wrenching for you as it was for me, I'm sure you can find plenty to shock and enrage you.

srah - Monday, 9 December 2002 - 10:28 AM
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