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The Powerful Documentary ‘Newtown’ Finds Hope in an Unspeakable Tragedy — IndieWire On Demand

Kim A. Snyder's devastating documentary is a harrowing but necessary experience.



Mark and Jackie Barden

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On December 14, 2012, tragedy stuck Newtown, Connecticut, after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The massacre made national headlines and forever changed the lives of the families living in the quiet Connecticut suburb. Kim A. Snyder’s acclaimed documentary “Newtown” gathers parents of the victims and teachers to provide tense and heartbreaking memories from the fateful day and all that followed. It’s a harrowing watch, but one Snyder crafts in a necessary and urgent way.

READ MORE: Oscars: ‘Newtown’ Returns Gun Debate to Documentary Race, 14 Years After ‘Bowling for Columbine’

The director spends a majority of the film following the families of three young victims—Daniel Barden, Ben Wheeler, and Dylan Hockley—through the unimaginable aftermath of that horrific day. It’s from these harrowing memories that “Newtown” emerges as a blistering indictment of the nation’s broken promise to “never forget.”

“Newtown” is now available On Demand and deserves your attention. It’s not easy to sit through, but its rewards are indescribably powerful.

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