Tower

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The morning of August 1, 1966, was bright and sunny at the University of Texas at Austin.  Students chatted, strolled to class, and sipped coffee at the student union; a paperboy made his rounds on a bicycle with a pal on the handlebars.

“One of the most essential films of the year.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

But then a sniper rode the elevator to the top of the UT Tower and opened fire. He held the campus hostage for 96 long, horrific minutes, and when the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll was 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a nation traumatized by the first mass school shooting in history. Combining archival footage, hypnotic rotoscopic animation, and contemporary interviews with witnesses, Tower vividly recreates the terrifying event and reveals untold stories of unlikely heroes and victims. All too familiar today, this massacre was unthinkable in mid-1960s America. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2016 South by Southwest Festival. (Dir. by Keith Maitland, 2016, USA, 82 mins., Not Rated)