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Living for 32

2010 (c2013 on publicity flyer)
Distributed by The Video Project, PO Box 411376, San Francisco, CA 94141-1376; 800-475-2638
Produced by Maria Cuomo Cole
Directed by Nancy Kelly
DVD, color, 40 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
School Shootings, School Violence, Virginia, Gun Control

Reviewed by Carolyn Walden, Mervyn H. Sterne Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Date Entered: 3/14/2014

Colin Goddard, a survivor of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech University in 2007, relives that day and the days that follow in the film, Living for 32. Viewers accompany him on this journey as he tells his story with courage, empathy, and understanding and informs us of the events beginning April 16, 9:26 a.m. In his words, “Just as it all started, it all stopped.”

Birds flying as they cry and a haunting piano melody with string accompaniment open the film as the camera shows scenes from the Virginia Tech campus and slowly moves across the stone memorials in honor of the 32 victims. The story is mixed with archival footage of the police conference and news reports from various sources to help complete the events of that day. There are discussions with another survivor, Colin’s parents, and additional archival footage for interviews held after the tragic day.

Viewers also witness the passion Colin displays as he becomes a strong advocate for gun control and makes his way to Congress to lobby for gun control measures. He also documents how easy it is to purchase guns at gun shows by using a hidden camera. He meets with the President of the Brady Campaign and talks with a mother in the advocacy group, Harlem Mothers Save, as they share the pain of loss from gun violence and articulate what can be done to prevent more tragedies from gun ownership. Scenes from the Memorial Service with President Bush as speaker and the sea of candle lights at the memorial vigil highlight the Virginia Tech family honoring the victims. At the end, 32 names of the students and faculty scroll across the screen in silence reminding us one again of the consequences of that violent day. Recommended for high school libraries, college and university library collections, and public libraries that include materials on gun control.