Powerful Newtown documentary explores resilience in trauma-devastated community
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"Newtown" debuts Monday on "Independent Lens."

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

In raw, heartbreaking detail, a new documentary examines life after the horrific Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Newtown, directed by Kim A. Snyder, debuts at 8 p.m. Monday on Independent Lens. It'll be available to watch online beginning Tuesday.

Snyder, over the course of three years, interviewed parents, siblings, teachers, doctors and first responders, crafting a film that documents a traumatized community still reeling from the senseless tragedy, fractured by grief but driven toward a sense of purpose.

The survivors speak candidly about their grief, anger and disbelief over what occurred and their disappointment that nothing has truly changed with regard to the country’s legal response to gun violence.

 “The team was committed to making a film that was incisive without being exploitative,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens executive producer. “Newtown shows the impact of trauma on a community, the grief gun violence causes and how we begin to heal and move forward.”

The Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl calls the film a "transfixing documentary portrait of collective grief and resilience."

"(A)bove all else the film is a study of how to — and what it means to — remember while still persevering. Here we witness people learning to live again, trying to find the shape of lives that now have holes in them. Those holes can't be filled in, and can't be covered up. The film isn't despairing, though — nobody here is falling into them, either," Scherstuhl writes.




Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.