There are no words of compassion or reassurance that can bring back the 20 children and six educators who lost their lives during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In Kim A. Snyder’s searing new film Newtown, we are given exclusive access into the homes of those who lost loved ones. They speak candidly about their grief, anger, and disbelief over what occurred and how nothing has changed in regards to basic gun control reform.
“I still dread that every day I live, I’m one day farther away from my life with Daniel,” says bereaved father Mark Barden. Another parent, as she walks past the school shooter’s old property, reflects, “There are dreams when I’m in the classroom and I’m able to stop him.” Each person, be it a parent, school nurse, or state police officer, tries in their own way to make sense of their loss, as well as confront our nation’s inability to quell gun violence in even the most peaceful of communities. There are no easy answers or fixes in Newtown. The film’s brilliance–and hope–lies in its ability to internalize profound grief and allow it to reverberate within our collective conscience.