Elephant

"An ordinary high school day. Except that it's not."

The 2003 movie, "Elephant", is a look into the average high school of a well off suburb community. The story takes place in the Portland, Oregon area and leads up to a day that everyone in the town will never forget. The movie takes on multiple points of view of the students and faculty of an every day local high school. Two students named Eric and Alex have planned a massive shooting for a particular day and comb the halls taking the lives of their fellow students and faculty members. The movie leads up to this day and follows the actions of the two, including their obsession with Nazi propaganda, playing violent video games and even ordering the weapons they use in the shooting and firing them in the back yard. There is also a point in the movie where the two explore homosexual desires before school on the day of the shooting.

The two shooters are not the stereotypical problem students or outcasts that people envision being the architects of a mass shooting. It shows that unexpected actions can come from those that you least expect. Alex and Eric don't talk much in the movie about their reason for the shooting, they simply just go through and do it. It is evident though, that they are pushed to the edge by the cliquey society of America's youth and do not show any distinction between targets in the halls. They make no distinction between jocks, outcasts, faculty, special ed students and just the every day face in the crowd. They are not out to get a single person or group of people, their goal is just to inflict as many casualties as possible.

This movie is not actually a statement on violence in schools directly. There may be an underlying message, but it is never directly addressed in the movie to be a statement or prevention to violence.

R
| 2003 | 1 hr 21 min | 7.2/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Gus Van Sant
Language
English
Elephant
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