Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike's Letter

October 9th, 2002 12:00 AM

My Film, "Bowling for Columbine," Opens This Friday

Dear friends, fans, and fellow evildoers:

I am very happy and excited to tell you that this Friday, October 11, my new film, "Bowling for Columbine," will open in New York and Los Angeles.

It is, I promise, the last thing the Bushies want projected on the movie screens across America this week. The film is, first and foremost, a devastating indictment of the violence that is done in our name for profit and power -- and no one, in all the advance screenings I have attended, has left the theatre with anything short of rage. I truly believe this film has the potential to rock the nation and get people energized to do something.

This is not good news for Junior and Company. Not when they are trying to drag us into another war. Not when a crazed sniper is exercising his constitutional right to own a high-powered rifle. Not when John Ashcroft is still prohibiting the FBI from looking through the gun background check files to see if any of the 19 hijackers or their associates purchased any weapons prior to 9/11 -- because THAT, we are told, would "violate" these terrorists' sacred Second Amendment rights!

Yes, I believe this movie can create a lot of havoc -- but I will need ALL of you to help me do this. Are you game?

Last February 5th, I wrote to tell you about a book I had written and how the publisher had decided to dump it because they were afraid to publish anything critical of Bush after 9/11. I appealed to you to save "Stupid White Men" from the shredder and to go out and buy it. I promised you would not regret it, and that the book would not only be a great read but an important organizing tool in gumming up the plans of George W. Bush.

Within 24 hours, the book went to #1 on the Amazon best seller list. By the fifth day, the book was already into its 9th printing. The publisher was torn between its desire to kill the book or make a wad of money. Greed won out, and this Sunday the book enters its 31st week on the New York Times best seller list -- and its 32nd printing. This is all because of you, my crazy and loyal friends. You made this happen, against all the odds.

Now I would like to ask you again to help me with my latest work, "Bowling for Columbine." It's a movie that many critics have already called my best film to date. They may be right. It is certainly the most provocative thing I have ever done. I have spent three years on it and, I have to say, it cuts deeper, harder and funnier that anything I have given you so far.

The movie opens this Friday in New York and Los Angeles, and then in 8 more cities next week. How it does in these first ten cities will determine whether or not the rest of the country gets to see it. That is the nutty way our films are released. If it doesn't have a big opening weekend, you can kiss the film good-bye. Therefore, this weekend, this film must be seen by millions of Americans. Can you help me make that happen?

"Bowling for Columbine" is not a film simply about guns or school shootings. That is only the starting point for my 2-hour journey into the dark soul of a country that is both victim and master of an enormous amount of violence, both at home and around the world. With this movie I have broadened my canvas to paint a portrait of our nation at the beginning of the 21st century, a nation that seems hell-bent on killing first and asking questions later. It is a movie about the state sponsored acts of violence and terrorism against our own poor, and how we have created a culture of fear that is based on the racial dilemma we continue to ignore. And it's a devastating comedy.

This film is going to upset some pretty big apple carts. No film has EVER said the things I am saying in "Bowling for Columbine." I expect to be attacked. I expect certain theatres will not show it for fear of retribution. I expect that this movie will be a bitter pill for many to swallow.

This is why I need your help. Movies live or die based on what happens at the box office the first weekend of its release. I need you, if you live in the New York or L.A. area, to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this Friday and Saturday -- and take as many family members and friends with you as possible. I guarantee you will not be disappointed -- and you may just see one of the best films of the year.

Monday night in Times Square, "Bowling for Columbine" had its premiere. The crowd was amazing, as it was this past Saturday night at the Chicago Film Festival. The audience kept laughing or hooting or applauding so loud throughout the film that it was hard to hear the next line.

The hate mail, the threats, the promises of retribution have already started to roll in to the distributor of this movie, United Artists. They are not backing down. But how long will this last? I need all of you in the New York tri-state and southern California areas to go see "Bowling for Columbine" THIS weekend -- the rest of you can see it in a couple of weeks when it comes to your town. A strong opening not only means that the rest of America will see this film, it means that a good number of people who see it are going to leave the film angry enough to get active and get involved. If it does poorly, I will have a difficult time finding the funding for the movie I want to make next -- a film about 9/11 and how Bush is using that tragic day as a cover for his right-wing agenda.

Don't let that happen. Don't let the NRA have one more success by stopping the wider distribution of this movie. And, together, let us not remain silent in our opposition to Bush's phony war against Iraq.

If you live in New York, you can see it at the Lincoln Plaza, the Sunshine and the Loews 19th St. In L.A., you can catch it at the Sunset 5, the Westwood Regent, Laemmle Sunset, Laemmle Towncenter (Encino), Landmark Rialto (Pasadena), and Regal University (Irvine). Also, please forward this to your other friends and tell them to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this weekend.

And finally, don't miss our new website www.bowlingforcolumbine.com

Thank you for your help with this. I feel so honored and privileged to have so many people interested in my work. Last January I was getting 70,000 hits a month on my website. Last month, I got 17 million hits. This alone speaks volumes about the vast majority all of us belong to who are sick and tired of what is going on and are longing for an alternative source of information.

I hope that you enjoy "Bowling for Columbine."

Thank you again...

Yours,
Michael Moore

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