Michael Moore

March 22, 2013

I am Michael Moore. Ask me anything!

EDIT after: If it's hard to find all my answers, they're here: http://www.reddit.com/user/MMFlint

Hello reddit! I'm a filmmaker ('Fahrenheit 9/11'), author ('Stupid White Men') and citizen ('United States of America'). I'll be here on Friday, March 22nd from noon ET until about 2:00 pm. EDIT: See below, hope to return later today.

Tomorrow, March 23rd, is the 10th anniversary of my film 'Bowling for Columbine' winning the Oscar for Best Documentary. It was only the fourth night of the Iraq War, so my acceptance speech was a little ahead of its time. Take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7Is43K6lrg

But the reason I wanted to talk to you today isn't to celebrate, but to help organize the vast majority of Americans who are against gun violence. My greatest hope in making 'Bowling for Columbine' was that in ten years, so much would have changed that people in 2013 would think of it as a dated and irrelevant film. Sadly, that has not been the case.

That's why, together with Moveon, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, USAction, Progressive Democrats of America and RootsAction, I'm holding a nationwide screening of 'Bowling' tomorrow, Saturday, March 23rd at 7 pm ET, with an online post-movie discussion from New York of what we all can do right now to end the plague of gun violence in our country. I hope you can join us -- all the details are here: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/must-read/hold-your-own-10th-anniversary-bowling-columbine-house-party-and-discussion

So let's get started here on reddit. And we don't have to just talk about guns…ask me about anything and I'll give you an honest answer.

Proof: https://twitter.com/MMFlint/status/314981382348763137

EDIT: Sorry to have missed some things, just learning how to use reddit. Will have to go soon, but hope to be back later today at six pm to answer more questions.

EDIT: 5:15 PM ET I'll be back at around six pm for about 45 more minutes.

EDIT: 7:15 PM ET Have to run now -- thank you! Sorry I couldn't answer too many questions at the end, kept getting message Reddit was down for maintenance. I really hope everybody interested can join us tomorrow for the 'Bowling for Columbine' screening and post-movie discussion about gun violence -- http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/must-read/hold-your-own-10th-anniversary-bowling-columbine-house-party-and-discussion

Hey Mike,

Big fan of your work. Especially The awful Truth series.

Was there ever a time when you were seriously afraid of being arrested, or injured during the filming of any of your movies or T.V. Shows?

Also, If you're ever on the Canadian East Coast, come by for a beer.

I was pretty much seriously afraid doing all of that. Thanks for the offer of a Canadian beer.

Hi Mr. Moore. Thanks for the AMA. Seems like part of the problem is that the NRA is so highly organized whereas groups that want to have better control over firearms are disparate. Should we try and encourage one central lobby for firearm regulation?

Also, unrealted, but what are your thoughts on the MI state takeover of Detriot?

Yes, we need one mass group, but there's no time to create one. SO this will have to be a massive grassroots nonviolent uprising.

Michael thank you for doing this. While doing Sicko, what was the one single fact about the US healthcare system that shocked you the most but you could not put on the big screen? I worked for a vendor processing Medicaid and SSD/SSI applications (I actually put the apps together for the patients), and what shocked me the most, was the blatant racism from the people in charge of running the hospitals.

Not much shocks me anymore. What shocked me making Sicko was how they treat their own citizens in Norway. I didnt put in it the film cause i didnt think anyone would believe it. I did include it on the dvd extras.

If you were President, what would you do to curb, or better yet eliminate, gun violence?

I would say, "Today, we, as a nation, will no longer use violence to solve our problems. We will not invade countries. We will not execute people for committing a crime. We will stop abusing women." I think if we could change that about ourselves, the gun problem would go on the decline. But we OFFICIALLY sanction violence as a means to an end and so that's the message that's sent to the average Joe. Go ahead and shoot if you must.

Mr. Moore hello! What documentary are you interested In making in the future?

I dont discuss the films I'm making when i'm making them, but internally we've been calling the next one "Mike's Happy Movie."

Guns are a big issue where I'm from, a rural, mostly Republican area. In fact, after the Newtown shooting, my old high school kept with their plans to hold a school run gun raffle. What do you think needs to change in America to change the way rural, right-wing, America thinks?

Education, eliminating ignorance (No, Adam and Eve did not ride on dinosaurs 6,000 yrs ago), and hope for the future. Younger people will fix a lot of this. 81% of people between the ages of 19 and 29 support gay marriage. So, like it's been throughout history, the old die off (and take their bigotry with them) and the young seek to make the world a better place. That's why we no longer have slavery, women can vote, and African Americans can sit where they damn well please on the bus.

What's your thought on exorbitant drug price in U.S? Has there been any change since your documentary?

None. It's only gotten worse. I hear there's a special place in hell reserved for the pharma companies.

Would you rather fight 100 Bush sized Charlton Hestons or 1 Charlton Heston sized Bush?

I would simply challenge W. to a geography quiz. And if Mr. Heston were still with us, I'd love to hear what it was like to work with Orson Welles.


I'm proud I voted for him and he has seriously let me and the world down. Every now and then you see the fighter in him and so I return to being hopeful. Had he appointed me chief of staff, I would have helped him do the following: Raise taxes on the wealthy by 100% Close Guantanamo Stop killing civilians with drones Push for a constitutional amendment to remove all private money from politics Free HBO for everyone Include dental and mental in a true universal health care law Build high speed trains Cut the Pentagon budget by 70% Find out what happened to Tony Soprano at the end of the last show Rebuild the electrical grid to sustain the coming solar storm that will knock out the lights in large parts of the country. Help me find my keys

Will you be doing anything about snyders hostile take over of Michigan, and may I help?

We must run someone for Governor of Michigan next year who will win.

Mr Moore, how do you feel about the foreign aid controversy to the new Egyptian government? Is the president acting irresponsibly or are the Republicans being misleading about the issue?

Also would you rather fight 100 horse sized ducks or 1 duck sized horse? (Just a standard Iama question)

Edit: Sorry This should be 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse size duck.

Would the duck-sized horse be able to fly?

First, I wish you all the best in mobilizing people to push back at government regarding action on gun violence.

My question is: I'm doing daily walks with you (most of the time!). How do you motivate yourself to get out there when it's -20 and snowing (still...spring has fallen victim to climate change)?

How do you motivate yourself to brush your teeth everyday? It's never an internal discussion is it? You just do it. Second nature. Keep walking and you'll never want to miss a day walking.

Thanks for the AMA!

I'm a Detroit resident. I am very curious to know how you feel about the decision to implement an emergency manager in Detroit for our financial crisis. I don't think I've heard much from you on Detroit recently...

The "emergency" in Detroit took place about 30 years ago. We let the Big 3 take our tax money and build in 3rd world countries. We allowed them to make whatever cars they wanted to (which meant, they built crap cars no one wanted and so hundreds of thousands lost their jobs building them). Whats that you say? How can we tell a corp to do this or that? Please read my chapter "Why Doesn't GM Sell Crack?"

What is your advice about the future, for instance economy, or what to expect in all reality? What are your predictions generally.

My predictions? I predict Don Draper is going to jump out the window on the final episode. I predict that Ann Coulter will finally admit she believes none of what she says and that she's a performance artist. I predict the Detroit Lions will always suck as long as the Ford family own them. I predict i will never lose any hair. I predict that the Palestinians will eventually be treated as human beings. I predict that we will be invaded by Mexico and not a single person I know would oppose trying to stop them by any means necessary (just as all people who are invaded tend to do). I predict will never see this (true) headline in an media: G.E. Vice-president's Son Murders 26 People in Newtown CT (we have different ways of labeling people, like calling Adam Lanza "Autistic!".

Favorite late night host to be interviewed by?

A Tie. Colbert and Letterman.

There is a petition now, about 87k signatures short of mandatory response from the white house which would require politicians to wear the logos of their financial backers. It is silly, but I signed. How do you think we can successfully change political funding? How can we make politicians beholden to our people again?

I love that idea!

It seems the U.S.A. loses its mind more each day. What's a simple step that an average citizen can take to help restore sanity?

More Vitamin C, less Fox News. Short of that, just live an honest life and many will follow by example.

What film are you most proud of? Do you believe you have created your masterpiece, or is that going to happen down the road?

I'm proud of each film I've made and fortunate to have been able to make them with incredible teams of people. If you are someone who has never heard of me and would like to know what I'm about, I'd watch "Capitalism: A Love Story."

  1. What was the film that was most "memorable" to you or that you had the most "fun" making? I know your films tackle serious topics but you always like to incorporate your sense of humor within them.

  2. What film do you believe was the most controversial out of the collection that you've released?

Thanks for doing the AmA, Michael! I can't wait to see some answers as I've been a fan for a while.

Edit: Formatting. Also, people already downvoting other questions before the AmA even starts? Not cool...

Well, the most memorable was the first, Roger & Me, because I didnt go to film school and so i didnt know what i was doing. So the results kinda blew my mind. The most fun was probably Fahrenheit because we were all running on pure I dont know what but when we heard the White House was engaged in tearing down the film, that made our day. The most controversial one i would think is Capitalism A Love Story because I state flat out that this greedy, hateful, violent system has to go.

How do we get Bush/Cheney behind bars? Are there smarter people than me working on it?

Oh jeez, I hope so. History will call us nuts for letting those two criminals run the show.

Whats your thoughts on Canada and the United States relationship?`

We should aspire to be more Canada-like, and Canadians should stop trying to mimic us (which will be your doom!)


Yay! Welcome! Everybody come to northern Michigan to our Traverse City Film Festival - July 30-Aug 4

How can mental health professionals help curb gun violence? Gun violence of course doesn't begin with guns, but with disturbed individuals looking to harm others. How can schools, workplaces, even gun dealers help address the psychological side of this problem?

It's our sick nation psyche thats at the core of it. Adam Lanza was in therapy. The guns he used were legal.

Thanks for the article comparing Newtown's lax Congressional response to the tragedy of Emmett Till's death and the changes that came so rapidly, in part because of the publicity of the photos of his body.

Do you think that it is too painful for the families of the Newtown victims, including the adults, to show what happened to their loved ones, or do you think they are more afraid of a violent reaction by the far-right wing gunners (which have already threatened some of them)?

I would not post any crime scene photo without the permission of the parents. I'm just predicting that one of the parents will eventually do this.

Hi Mr. Moore ! Do you intend to make another movie one day ?

I'm always making a movie. I just dont talk about it.

Hi Michael, I admire youre ability to stand by your beliefs of right and wrong. I also enjoy the fact that you dont fit into a mold. Left or Right. I am so tired of the partisonship. Lately I've been thinking that everything should be decided by popular vote and we should reduce the power Congress has. Isnt that real democracy ? Am I just talking crazy here ? I dont need some puppet telling me we cant have gun control. I want my state of Connecticut to vote and make the decision. Then no one can blame Obama, or the government. They'll see this is what the majority wants and majority rules. Justin Hickey

Yes, that would be a better system. Check out the way the Swiss do their form of direct democracy. If there was a nationwide town hall meeting every Saturday night, wouldn't you show up every now and then to vote?

At the end of Capitalism: A Love Story, it almost seemed like you were resigned to letting your viewers take over the Fight. Do you think people have taken up the challenge since then?

Yes! Within 20 months of the movie's release, Occupy Wall Street happened. And the statement in the film about the 1% and the 99% stuck in people's minds. Now we have to take the next steps.

Thank you for your leadership, and for having the balls to speak out against injustice.

How do you deal with all the hate and negativity you get personally from those you oppose? Like, psychologically.

Hahaha! What hate? Seriously, I only truly care what my family and close friends think about me. If you keep yourself grounded that way, all the crap just flies over you and crashlands somewhere else. It seems like most of the haters are mostly just concerned with my body type, which i think has some homoerotic overtones to it but I'm not a shrink so i dont know. One thing i do know -- if it's a hater, it's (90% odds) a white guy. I always cross over to the other side of the street when i see a bunch of white guys walking toward me.

Mr. Moore, do you think that young couples just starting out have reason to still hope for the "American Dream" ? For example, my husband and I just got married, we live in an apartment, I am studying to be a teacher and he is studying to be a computer guy. But in today's economy, with what teachers make and the state of our country, do you think that people like me will ever get out of student debt and be able to buy a home and save for retirement?

This really does break my heart to read a post like this. Don't give up! yes, things look pretty bleak, but one of the tenets of 21st century capitalism is to have the working class filled with defeat, self-doubt, hate and general misery. Then they can run the show with the rest of the country just scrambling to get the crumbs. The good news: Theres more of us than there are of them. And they know it. And trust me it scares them shitless to think people would actually stand up for a more equitable world.

What do you think the best course of action is in regards to Iran and their alleged Nuclear Weapons production?

Leave Iran alone. The people there will take care of the situation.

Right after Sandy Hook, I re-watched "Bowling for Columbine", and I wanted to see if there were any real lessons that we should have learned, not only after the shooting, but also from your movie. It seemed to ask more question about why we're such a violent country than answer, and I left feeling that we just need to curve the way we act as a society on a whole.

Do you feel that was the main message of your movie, or did I miss something?

(PS: BIG fan of your movies! :) )

That's the message. We can pass all the gun laws we want (and i hope we do) but until we change things about who we are as Americans, then nothing will truly change. You have to keep asking the question: Why does this violence happen here at this level, and nowhere else? Those Canadian kids are playing the same violent video games.

Hi Mr. Moore,

I'm currently doing work on capitalist influence on the arts and culture and the effects this has on society. You tackle a lot of issues that can be considered controversial, and it seems likely that executives/owners at movie studios may not agree with what you say. What kind of opposition to you encounter from the movie studios? Have you ever been asked to edit parts of your films out in order to appease higher ups at a studio?

Also, As a Canadian, I just wanted to say that Canadian Bacon is one of my favourite movies.

I assume studios give me money to make my films because they make a ton of money from them. In that way, I am using capitalism against itself. The powers that be assume that no matter how many people see my movies, they know the American public has been dumbed down and has been encouraged not to rock the boat cause it won't get them anywhere. So they don't see my movies as a threat because they assume Americans will never rise up and use their democracy. I'm siding with the belief that they're wrong.

Hey Michael, I think I accidentally scared you out of a movie theatre in Traverse City when you were seeing pineapple express. I said "Hi Michael" before the movie started then you got up and left. Just wanted to say sorry!

Hahaha. No, I was just going to get more Goobers.

how do i respond to someone when they say that you fabricated misinformation and twisted the truth in "bowling for columbine?"

Some people have been brainwashed by Fox and Rush. It's awfully hard to fight that. If the person seems rational, tell them that on my website, I list the backup and sources for every single fact delivered in the movie. Nobody else does this. The opinions in the movies are mine. Those could be right or wrong. I happen to think they are right.

Why do you feel the need to exploit the death of children to promote a fairytale agenda?

Wow. Please remember that during this reddit session, there are people from other countries reading this and I want them to think better of us.

When did you decide you wanted to go into film? Was it before or after you developed an interest in politics?

They happened simultaneously. I've always loved the movies.

How did you feel about being a puppet in Team America?

Hahahaha! Friggin' hilarious! Have you seen BASEketball? Geniuses!

Windsorite here... When you cross into Windsor, what is the first thing you notice, as an American, is different in Canada? Detroit and Windsor is separated by a thin river and boarder but there are so many cultural and social differences I find. I'd like to hear what your take is on it.

The first thing i see when i cross into Windsor is a sign that says I better not have any guns in my possession or I'll be sent back across the river (hunters though are welcome). The next thing I see are the bingo halls and the casino. Then, all the strip bars which promise full nudity. After that, just a lot of friendly, generous people who can't figure the fuck out who we are as Americans, despite their best efforts.

Michael, you've been very active lately on the mideast conflict, such as your help for the director of 5 Broken Cameras.

I have worked in Washington, D.C. politics and as an advocacy journalist (I actually worked with an old colleague of yours -- George Zornick!) and I was hounded for months along with my colleagues when we wrote a few critical things of the Israeli government. (you can read about it here: http://www.salon.com/2012/01/19/the_smear_campaign_against_cap_and_media_matters_rolls_on/)

Are you considering stepping up your activism on this issue based on the idea that because we basically subsidize the Israeli foreign policy that we have a responsibility to rein them in and to force them to have a just agreement with the Palestinians?

Yes. Period.

Hi Michael, If you had to pick one reason that lead you to becoming a film maker, what would it be ?

I didn't like documentaries. So I thought I thought I would try to make a different kind of nonfiction film. That, and I was unemployed and not much else to do.

A marine today killed two fellow marines. Are you going to lobby the marine corps to ban firearms?

I'm going to continue to lobby our government to stop using our working class young people as fodder in wars that make Haliburton rich.

Hello Michael! Thanks for doing this AMA! :)

What motivates you to do what you do? I've always wondered that. It'd be so easy to give up based on the sheer amount of criticism you get everywhere you go. You always put forth an honest effort and don't seem to have any sort of hidden, sinister agenda... what drives that?

Huge fan here, btw. ;)

Wow, that is extremely generous of you to say that. I never listen to the "criticism" of haters, and I know that the majority of AMericans agree with me and not with them. The majority of this country is for womens rights, they're pro-choice, for gay marriage, for strong gun control, against invading any more countries, they aren't bigots, they want strong environmental laws, and on and one. The only issue the majority of Americans disagree with me on is the death penalty. A slight majority still favor it. That will change soon with the next generation.

As for the rest of your question, I just try to follow my conscience. My agenda is quite simple: make really good movies, and fight for those who are less fortunate than I am. And go for a walk every day. And try to get them to do more seasons of "Breaking Bad" after this one.

Do you think America will ever become a progressive state in relation to Europe or will we be forever held back by the neo-conservative movement?

The neo-conservatives will die off. The next generation will make it better.

1.) When can we expect a movie about how Obama's policies are just a continuance of Bushs

2.) Our gov. is killing a LOT more people than the 'right wing gun nuts'. Why don't we focus on stopping the violence that our gov. causes. Wouldn't this set a better example for us at home.

It feels more than ridiculous that Obama wants to lecture us about violence while simultaneously drone bombing innocent people around the world.

I agree 100%. And you should make that movie. I'm serious.

1.) When can we expect a movie about how Obama's policies are just a continuance of Bushs

2.) Our gov. is killing a LOT more people than the 'right wing gun nuts'. Why don't we focus on stopping the violence that our gov. causes. Wouldn't this set a better example for us at home.

It feels more than ridiculous that Obama wants to lecture us about violence while simultaneously drone bombing innocent people around the world.

100% agree.

Unfortunately you wont see him reply to this. He doesn't seem to like to answer questions that don't 100% agree with his world political view.


Actually, as this is my first reddit, I just started answering the questions at the top which i thought were the "top" questions. then I saw the little link! Sorry!

He's a liberal and he attacks Republicans. He won't attack the Democratic party.

Edit: The poor grammar was bothering me. Editing my edit: Thanks

if you dont think i will criticize Democrats then you weren't born yet during the Clinton administration. TV Nation did it practically every week. so did my show The Awful Truth. I had a chapter in my first book in 1996 entitled "Bill Clinton: The Best Republican President We've Ever Had."

Thank you for participating, Mr. Moore. As a high school sociology teacher, I use your films to drive students' discussion and research of social problems.

Any advice what I as a teacher can do to mark the anniversary of Bowling For Columbine with my class?

With gratitude,

Ask how much do they think has changed in 10 years. Ask them if they now when they are being manipulated with fear and what are some examples of that. Thanks for being a teacher!

Were you pleased with your portrayal in Team America: World Police?

My only regret is that they blew me up, so now I wont be asked to be in the sequel (unless I'm a zombie).

I find some stuff in Moore's films to be manipulative in a way that I don't like, but I think the thing with Matt and Trey isn't Moore's fault.

The animated sequence in Columbine was not "right after" the interview with Matt Stone. And, although this is obviously subjective, I did not find the animation to be "similar in style" to South Park. I watched Columbine when it first came out and I did not think that the animated sequence was in any way associated with Matt & Trey or South Park.

Anyone who has seen the film would know that the styles were vastly different. We wrote that before we even knew Matt was going to be in the film. The irony of this is that even Matt and Trey admitted to me once that they stole a half-dozen lines/ideas from my movie Canadian Bacon and put them in there first South Park movie about... invading Canada. Life is strange how easy up means down, and hot means cold.

Hello Mr Moore. I am currently writing a paper on ethics in documentary film. In Bowling for Columbine there are a few assumptions made and some misrepresentations through selective editing. I would like to state I am pro gun control and I agree with your over all message. My question is why do you feel the need to use selective editing and miss represent some facts to further your message? do you believe that if this mis representations were to come out it would undermine your message? And If your message is a good one (I strongly believe this) Why do you rely on misinformation?

Every single fact in Bowling for Columbine is true and I have all the backed-up sources for each fact listed on my website. As for "selective editing", that a redundant term because the very definition of editing is that it IS selective. You have 100 hours of footage and you have to select the 90 minutes of it you are going to show. If you have a specific scene or fact you're concerned about, let me know what it is and i will address it.

Here's a compiled list

He does things like says the NRA and KKK are the same group of people, when NRA was formed in New York 5 years after KKK, and NRA often helped blacks get charters to defend themselves from KKK.

Or he goes into the bank and makes it look like they handed him a gun same day, when there was a 2 week waiting period and the guns aren't kept in the bank.

All his interviews are spliced together to make it look like one time... real shady stuff. Worst part is the Academy gave it Best Documentary, which really shows the bias of Hollywood.

Well everything you just said is not true. Go to my website where i site all my sources, and please turn off the right wing hate machine's media. They are afraid to debate me on the ISSUES (because they will lose in the eyes of public opinion) and instead attack me personally. They act like 8 yr olds.

There is a scene regarding the NRA having a meeting shortly after Columbine in Bowling for Columbine. When Moore says this meeting occurred, he shows an image of someone (I believe Heston) raising his rifle up and people applauding and going nuts. That did not occur at that meeting shortly after Columbine, but at the annual NRA meeting held each year.

Not saying I'm crazy about the clip in general, but it was meant to incite anger and rage to gather people to his Moore's side in the matter.

Wrong.Tthe shot of Heston with the gun appears right before I go to the next scene in Denver/Columbine/NRA convention. Because it's the last shot before I move into that section of the film, the haters have tried to connect it in order to denounce it. I don't usually bother answering them because I know smart people know how a movie works. Trust me, the haters are not upset at "editing." They are not editing critics. They don't study the intricacies of editing. They have a right wing agenda and their goal is to blow enough smoke to confuse people so they can keep their gun-loving, gay-hating, war mongering country the way it always was. They are frustrated because they now see that their time is up. People have changed and yes, they would vote for a black man than to have any more of these crazies running our country. That's why i remain optimistic.

During the scene when Moore goes to Charlton Heston's house. Moore shows Heston a photo of a girl who has been shot. However if you watch the clip there is a shot reverse shot and you cannot see a second camera. Moore holding up the photo has been shot later. If you look at the footage of Heston in isolation he is just walking away.

Also there are ethical dilemmas as at the time of the interview Charlton Heston was suffering from alzheimer's disease.

Wrong. Have you ever heard of using two cameras? Also, we filmed the scene with Heston a year and a half before he sadly came down with Alzheimers. He's walking slow in the film as he had had hip replacement surgery three weeks prior.

He also says that the United States has the highest rate of gun crime in the world, he goes into a lot of detail of the number of other countries, but fails to note that in-fact South Africa has the highest rates. This isnt a mistake, there has clearly been re-search. He wants the audience to think that America is the highest , not one of the Highest. This is a lie to create meaning

Everyone knows America has the highest, definitely the highest in the industrialized world. South Africa's is high, but has more to do with the years of transition they've been in since aparthied. Just we still suffer from the legacy of slavery.

Also, I hear Sicko was so false it was banned in Cuba because they were afraid people would think they were being conned by the government.

Another Fox news lie. It played at hundreds of theaters across Cuba and is often shown on Cuban TV.

I felt the same way about Fahrenheit 911. To me it was so one sided and selectively edited that it actually made me want to vote for Bush. How does that make you feel Mr. Moore?

You may not have noticed that the judgment of history has shown that I was right and Bush was wrong. It will be a long time before this nation elects another Bush and I'm proud of the role I played in that. (yes, the film was one sided. That's what art is - the depiction of how the artist feels. the artist or filmmaker doesn't make a film showing the horrors of slavery and then says, "Oh wait, I forgot to give equal time to the people who believe in slavery!)

He's only here for his ego. Don't expect honest answers to tough questions.

People who always use the "ego" criticism strike me as people who need to feel better about themselves. Listen, there's nothing wrong with liking who you are. And if you dont like who you are, they try to change or live a better life.

Others have provided examples, I'm just chipping in with an excerpt of a response I made to Moore:

Bowling for Columbine is available for streaming on Netflix.

The relevant section begins around 35:00

At 35:00, you're airing footage from Columbine about the shooting.

Film cuts to black. Charlton Heston's scene is next. "I have only five words for you, from my cold dead hands!" [This footage came from an event one year after the shooting at Columbine]

While this scene is playing, your voiceover starts in: "Just 10 days after the Columbine Killings, despite the pleas of a community in mourning ...

The movie then cuts to a separate scene of a billboard for the annual meeting.

"Charlton Heston came to Denver, and held a large pro-gun rally for the National Rifle Association."

Then you cut to scenes from the meeting.

Here is what you say on your website.

The Truth: Heston took his NRA show to Denver and did and said exactly what we recounted. From the end of my narration setting up Heston's speech in Denver, with my words, "a big pro-gun rally," every word out of Charlton Heston's mouth was uttered right there in Denver, just 10 days after the Columbine tragedy.

True, by the time your voiceover ends, the footage is accurately from the annual meeting. But you don't address the fact that the footage of Heston when your voiceover begins is not from that meeting.

Your position appears to be that only the "haters" connect the footage with your voiceover. I leave it up to the good people of reddit to decide for themselves whether it's a fair connection to draw.

It is a standard filmmaking technique (and also on tv news) to use stock footage of the person you're talking about, taken from a previous time, and you assume the viewer knows that that was not shot today or in that moment of the movie. I didnt need to "beef up" Heston's insensitivity for showing up in Denver the week or so after the Columbine shootings. Most people with compassion and good hearts already knew that was a rotten thing for Heston to do. Questions along these lines today make me wish we had media literacy classes in high school.

I am also interested in this. There was a scene you had with Borders employees that was very "cloak and dagger" and being a Borders employee at the time I found it to be a misrepresentation of the facts and more like a couple of retail clerks creating an air of drama to get to talk to you and possibly be put in your movie.

Yeah, I wish that were true but it wasnt.

In 'Bowling for Columbine' you came to my home town of Oscoda, MI and interviewed two guys who fit the stereotype of the typical redneck American. While I enjoyed your film, it got me think about how much of the other people you interview are just there to help you fill a certain stereotype to help get your point across?

Nope. Those were the first two guys we ran across. In fact we weren't even looking for someone to interview. We just pulled into a gas station to fill up and there they were.

He also said that Eric and Dylan went to bowling class that morning; that's where the movie title originates from. They definitely didn't.

They were supposed to be in bowling class. But they were busy planning the massacre. One teacher had reported seeing them at the bowling alley; others said not so.

[No question]

So sorry I'm new to Reddit. I'm still trying to figure it out. For instance, I've answered many of the critics' questions, but i don't see them showing up. I hit "save" and i've also refreshed. But I don't see them listed. So I've got to go back to work now but I will do this again and maybe figure out why some of my answers didn't get posted. Otherwise it's been a fun 2 hours and I will definitely do this again! Thanks to all. (now i'm going to hit "save")

In farenheit 9/11 you showed Iraq and made it seem as if it was a wonderful place before the invasion. You showed two girls playing and than cut to a scene of bombs being dropped and people killed. Out of all the propaganda I have seen, whether from you or fox this was the worst. Funny how you didn't show the marshlands, and the decimated marsh arabs, or the kurdish cities still smelling of nerve gas, or the torture chambers. Couldn't I just show a video of some little Aryan girls in 1930s Germany, and than just cut to us bombing Germany and do the same thing you did?

The usual response to this would be something along the lines of 'well guess who gave Saddam the weapons to use on the kurds' but we both know that's not an answer.

Also let me get straight the fact that I consider myself a leftist, and don't think Iraq was necessary.

You said 'ask me anything and I'll give you an honest answer' so I'm ready for mine.

The point of the scene was too show that i had obtained footage of Bush in the Oval office in the 60 seconds leadin up to him going live across the country. And he sat there like a frat boy, joking around, winking, goofy off -- just seconds before he's going to announce the annihilation of hndreds of thousands of people. I intercut it with scenes we shot in Baghdad 3 weeks before the invasion to show that these were HUMAN BEINGS - CIVILIANS - we were about to massacre in the name of the United States of America. That the thing you got from that scene was that I was trying to say Iraq under Saddam was some type of Disneyland is, well, just sad.

[No question]

I'm back for the next 45 minutes. Don't be afraid to ask the personal questions. I will answer anything, time permitting, by 7pm!

HAA. god please let him do one.

HAHAHAHA! OMG these posts are sooooo funny. Now I know why we have so many right wing comedians and humorists on TV and in the movies. (Note: That was irony)

do you egret this AMA yet?

No way! This is fun. And I want the haters to ask their questions because it gives me a chance to respond to the nutty stuff they push on FOX and Rush and elsewhere.


I remember watching some of your movies when I was a teenager.

After taking some economics classes, there's a question I've wanted to ask you.

Why should the people of Michigan be upset that the businesses that made sense in their region 60-90 years ago, but that don't make sense in their region anymore are leaving for other regions, instead of being upset that new businesses better suited for their economic, demographic and geographic reality aren't coming in/getting started up to replace them? It seems so counter intuitive to me to try to keep things from changing with changing circumstances.

I actually agree with you.

Mr. Moore, After watching bowling for columbine I have always wanted to ask you why you attacked Kmart for the shooting. I know the kids bought their ammo at their store but Kmart also sells baseball bats, hunting knives, house hold poisons, and plenty of other objects that could be weapons. Without going into too much the whole gun control issue, don't you think blaming Kmart for the death of those kids is like blaming McDonalds for making kids overweight. I felt like your head was in the right place but the parents of these kids along with the kids themselves was who to blame.

I dont blame Kmart. I just felt that 16-yr olds should not be able to walk into a store and buy, say, and thousand rounds of ammo and nobody asks a friggin' question.

If mayors, celebrities, text can have armed security...why can't I have a gun to protect myself and my family? Am I not just as important?

It's because those people get a hundred death threats every week. How many did you get this week? Usually my answer to a Rightie spewing hate and fear and who wants to know why i have security, I answer them by saying you've already answered your own question.

Speaking as a non-American, I find your movies are a bit farcical. They play somewhat like an attempt at a kids' movie, and are hard to take seriously (even though I usually agree with the message).

Is this a deliberate 'style' choice for the American market, or is this just the way you present movies? Or put another way, if you were to do a movie for a different market (say Europe), would you do it differently?


Is it just me or are there like, five responses given, all short answers.

For some reason, reddit is not posting most of my responses. OR they are hidden in other threads. But i only see about one in eight of my comments listed. So I guess I won't continue if there is some kind of censorship going on.

[No question]

For some reason, reddit is not posting most of my responses. OR they are hidden in other threads. But i only see about one in eight of my comments listed. So I guess I won't continue if there is some kind of censorship going on.

Speaking of gun violence, why do you get an armed security team, while simultaneously advocating taking my guns away (paraphrasing of your gun control advocacy)?

I don't have armed security but please don't tell the haters this. I feel better if they think I do.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Michael Moore conducted on Reddit on 2013-03-22. The Reddit AMA can be found here.