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[Oct. 2016 Arts] New documentary looks back at Sandy Hook tragedy

By Jack Shapiro ’19 & Bailey Blaikie ’19


“Newtown,” a documentary about the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, has already been released to New York, Los Angeles and Orange County, but it will be available nationwide  on November 2, 2016. Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the film contains unseen testimonies about  the shooting, the struggles of the aftermath and the town’s fight for  national gun reform.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is regarded as one of the most horrific days in American history. On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six teachers were killed.

“This tragedy affected every single person in Newtown; there was no one that was not personally affected by this event,” Linda McClary, a current Newtown resident and child development teacher at Staples, said.

“Newtown” played at  the Greenwich Film Festival on June 13, 2016, where U.S. Congressman Jim Himes, the representative for the fourth district, was in attendance. The following day, he enacted protests in favor of stiffer gun control laws. Himes walked out of the House chamber during a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting and cited that his inspiration was watching the film.

The film has received praise from many, including The New York Times, which reviewed “Newtown” as being “powerful and illuminating.”

Some students are making plans to see the film when it is officially released. “I’m definitely going to see this movie when it comes out,” Layla Wofsy ’19 said.  “It seems like it is going to be a very interesting documentary.”

However, for some, the documentary’s subject matter may stir up emotions that are still very raw. “I feel as though it may be an [invasion] of our town, in the sense that people who have lost someone may not want the media to re-create the terrible events,” Julie Raigosa ’19, a former Newtown resident, said.

There are still others who believe the tragedy of Sandy Hook is a story that must always be told. “I think that this subject matter is timeless, so no matter when it comes out, it will still have significance,” Lauren Chasnow ’17 said.

Oliver Lindenbaum ’19 agreed. “I think it is easier now because of [how the town] has bounced back,” Lindenbaum said. “They’re resilient.”

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