I've only expressed my feelings publicly about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School once. It was in a blog I wrote in December about what I was feeling driving through Sandy Hook on the way into work on the morning of the third anniversary. You can read it HEREI still feel the same way today as I did back in December, what could I possibly say about this horrible event that hasn't already been said?

Renowned documentary filmmaker Kim A. Snyder has turned her camera onto our part of the world. Her film Newtown has been making the rounds this year to critical acclaim at every major film festival. I've only seen the trailer on the website, but obviously, seeing my everyday surroundings on film, in that light, in that tone, stirs my emotions.

When describing the film and the thought process behind it, Snyder says,

I really wanted to tell a story of collective grief. Of what happens long after cameras have gone in these incidents of mass shootings and the two to three year trajectory of what an entire community looks like in the fall out of these kinds of tragedies.

What I really wanted to do most was do a human portrait of this community.

Every time one of these incidents happens, we become more and more desensitized, and (I) wanted to sort of pierce through that desensitization through doing something that was a little more experiential.


Snyder's approach, as far as I can tell, really captures what our community has gone through. I have been hesitant to ask the questions that the filmmakers pose to those directly affected. It's those questions and connections that hit you emotionally, making for an excellent documentary.

The film had its world premiere at Sundance, and also played at SXSW in Austin, TX. The closest screenings to us, at present, are The International Film Festival in Boston tonight (April 29), and the Montclair Film Festival tomorrow (April 30) and Sunday (May 1).

There are certain movies that I only want to see once. Sometimes to experience another person's viewpoint, and other times out of my own curiosity. This looks like a movie that I will only want to see once, because it will be too painful to watch again.

My thoughts are with the people of Sandy Hook affected by this moment in time.

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