DVD - 2017
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On August first, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the iconic University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes in what was a previously unimaginable event. This documentary combines archival footage with animated re-enactments of the dramatic day, based entirely on first person testimonies from witnesses, heroes, and survivors, in a seamless and suspenseful retelling of the unfolding tragedy.
" of the most essential films of the year."
"You might not see a more emotionally shattering film this year."--Village Voice
Publisher: [United States] : Kino Lorber, 2017.
Edition: Widescreen edition
Branch Call Number: DVD 363. 33097 TOW
Characteristics: 1 DVD (ca. 82 min.)


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List - The Best Movies of 2017
Dobrila_T Oct 30, 2017

My favorite documentary this year is an animated reenactment of a life shattering tragedy.

My favorite documentary this year is an animated reenactment of a life shattering tragedy.

There are monsters walking among us. Guardians of humanity too.

From the critics

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Sep 28, 2019

This is one of the best docs that I have seen in a long time. I like the way they used live action and animination to tell this story about the 1966 Texas Tower shooting.

Oct 20, 2018

Heard about it. Read about it. Now watch it dramatized and life interviews of the real people who were at the heart of the scene. The closing commentary read on air by Walter Cronkite was succinctly insightful then as today. While the film maker decided not to include details of the shooter, he was part of the tragedy. More in Wiki's "University of Texas tower shooting" page.

Jul 17, 2018

A creative, innovative and moving documentary.

Jul 11, 2018

Directed by Keith Maitland in 2016, this 82-minute documentary shows the tragedy and good Samaritans during the 1966 shooting incident at the University of Texas Tower.
Tense, amazing and uniquely touching documentary.

Jul 01, 2018

A documentary to watch with your children. Rather than the usual aging talking heads, the film uses Rotoscope animation and young actors to recreate that terrible day in August, 1966. Director Keith Maitland took this approach especially to reach a young audience, who, more than most of us, deal with the anxiety of possible encounters with mad shooters. The effect is fresh, immediate, and deeply moving. I especially appreciated the credit given to people who risked their lives for others, and that the shooter is not glamourized -- his face is unseen, and even his name is not mentioned until the end.

Jan 31, 2018

Well made documentary melding archival footage w animation, completely engaging, but when it was over, I wondered what I gained from watching it.

Jan 26, 2018

what a refreshing way to display facts from the 60's using some animation that really enhances the old footage in black and white
a success route for upcoming documentaries....very creative and absorbing

Sep 17, 2017

Two words: Simply brilliant.

There were many victims in that story; but there were also genuine, unsung heroes, among whom Rita Starpattern.

Sep 06, 2017

This a unique looking documentary about the mass murder at the University of Texas where a sniper opened fire for over an hour from the clock tower onto the passersby on the campus. The film's graphics is a mixture of live footage and animation that portrayed the event and people on that fateful day in 1966. With different people telling their story of that day,you get a feel for the terror and powerlessness students and others felt while taking cover,lying wounded and pushed to acts of heroism in the face of constant gunfire to save others or stop the sniper themselves.

Jun 03, 2017

Engaging documentary that utilizes rotoscoped images to tell the story of the 1966 University of Texas sniper attack. The format of animation mixed with live action does not detract from the effectiveness of this film in telling the story. In many cases, it enhances it. The events are concisely presented in 80 minutes and the film leaves no time for the viewer to rest. I am of the generation that lived through this horrendous attack, so I was familiar with the story. However, I had no idea of the genuinely selfless acts of some of the key players in this moment in history. If you label basketball players and music stars as your heroes, watch this and see what true heroism is all about. I've been highly recommending this film to everyone I know.

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Oct 20, 2018

The three quotes below are real conversations with the people at the scene and all near the end of the documentary:

Through the years, he remained largely kind of wooden in my mind. But the longer I've lived and the more I've seen, these precious little children who grow up and do sometimes horrible things, the more I have come to think of him as a very confused, very damaged young man. He died at about 25. There's a picture of him standing at three years old, holding a rifle on either side on the beach. I just think of him when he was that three-year-old who would have been sitting in my lap, you know. I'm a teacher, and I love that age. So much promise and so much hope. How can I hate somebody like that? I can't hate him, in spite of the incredible damage that he's done. I can't hate him. I just can't do that.
- Do you forgive him?
I forgive him, yes. How can I not forgive? I've been forgiven so much.

Oct 20, 2018

I remember looking at the Tower, of course, a lot. And from the Main Mall you can see there's a biblical line from the Bible. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." I've thought about it. One of the truths I learned... Is that there are monsters that walk among us. There are people out there that think unthinkable thoughts and then do unthinkable things.

Oct 20, 2018

The horror of these, the sick among us, must be found in the horror of our hyper-civilization. A strange pandering to violence, a disrespect for life, fostered in part by governments which, in pursuit of the doctrine of self-defense, teach their youth to kill and to maim. A society in which the most popular newspaper cartoon strips, television programs, and movies are those that can invent new means of perpetrating bodily harm. A people who somehow can remain silent while their own civilization seems to crumble under the force of the caveman's philosophy - that might makes right. It seems likely that Charles Joseph Whitman's crime was society's crime.


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Jan 26, 2018

Animation, testimony, and archival footage combine to relate the events of August 1, 1966 when a gunman opened fire from the University of Texas clock tower, killing 16 people.

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