Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Movie Review: "Tower" (2016)

Image Source
Director: Keith Maitland
Year: 2016
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

An examination of the 1966 University of Texas mass shooting as told through interviews with those who experienced it first hand. 

"Tower" is a documentary directed by Keith Maitland. It rebuilds the events of the 1966 University of Texas mass shooting through interviews with witnesses and victims who experienced it first hand, as well as through photographs and video footage taken on the fateful day. Keith Maitland takes a unique approach to the genre by creating a reenactment of the event through the use of rotoscoping. Those involved in the movie take live action reenactments, videos, and photos and trace over them with animation. This is a tragic and truly unthinkable event. When told via this recreation, it helps give a visual relationship to what is being said in the interviews beyond merely people talking to a camera. It makes the film feel less like a documentary and more like a Ralph Bakshi animated feature. It helps create an exceedingly palpable emotional feeling that goes beyond just listening to interviews and hearing stories.

These interviews are heartbreaking, whether they come from victims of the gunman or from witnesses and bystanders. We hear stories about how many people saw others in trouble and possibly dying, but were too scared and fearful for their own lives to help. Others braved the danger to help those in need, only to turn around and feel guilt about how they didn't act sooner. "Tower" shows both the inspiration of those willing to help others at the risk of their own lives, as well as the monstrosities man is capable of. We may never understand why a former soldier climbed a clock tower one day and decided to start shooting people at random, but then again, maybe we shouldn't want to understand what drives someone to do such horrific things. Maybe it's better we can't understand it.

"Tower" is a very well made, ultra compelling and engaging documentary that is supremely emotional and devastating to see reenacted. It brought us to tears on multiple occasions when hearing the stories of suffering, bravery, and loss, but also when hearing about people's selflessness during such terror. Despite taking place over 50 years ago, a film like this is still, unfortunately, feels all too relevant as events like this continue to happen in great number today. With the use of rotoscoping, director Keith Maitland has created a unique documentary about an all too familiar subject matter. This is a must see for documentary lovers.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

*This post contains affiliate links.

No comments:

Post a Comment