Review of “Raising a School Shooter” (2021)

Moving picture, 57 minutes

Seen in 2021.

I saw the 57-minute TV cut, not the feature-length original.

The parents of three US teenagers who killed at their schools.

The Barkforses have gotten better at this since Pervert Park (2014). Aside from the basic human aspect and the effective treatment of guilt and reconciliation, this documentary also cuts to the heart of US society, uniqely marked by its gun industry and the relatively high frequency of its school shootings.

Connie Sanders, one of the daughters of “Dave” Sanders who died helping others at Columbine in 1999, humanizes her father, completely rejecting the public image of the man as a saint. Jeff Williams tells the story of how his son Andy’s school apparently rewrote a report on bullying, retroactively blaming the school’s problems on the dead child and ignoring every indication that Andy was bullied. These twin tendencies toward lionization and vilification are part of a larger pattern in US society: a childish and hypocritical moralism that hides systemic problems.

moving picture non-fiction