School shooting film gets released
Some time ago a film called Dark Matter was made starring Meryl Streep , Aidan Quinn and Ye Liu, it was based on actual events and followed a Chinese student who turned extremely violent when his chances for a Novel Prize were ruined by school politics.
Although the based on actual events statement is very loose, the fact that the film will be getting a release date in the wake of four separate school shootings within a week, does make you wonder why it was delayed for the Virginia Tech shootings.
However news comes today that the film Dark Matter will be released this spring. The announcement, that Associated Press through Yahoo News was quick to point out, came hours after the latest shootings at Northern Illinois University.
Now I'd like to step back a little from that for a moment. Thinking of how the film industry works, this wouldn't have been a cold calculated decision, in fact this will have been decided on some time ago, perhaps even before any of the recent shootings began, so I seriously doubt there's any desire to cash in on events.
In fact I think they are being very sensible in releasing the film now. It is loosely based on the Virginia Tech shootings, so there's a significant period of time that has passed since then, and more than enough to distance itself.
I know some of you will be thinking that this might be too close to real events, but I really don't believe that we should be so scared to face these things head on. We should openly discuss them and find solutions, rather than dealing with the aftermath, and hiding them under a deluge of new, more audience capturing news.
From all accounts the film from the Chinese director Chen Shi-Zheng isn't something that glorifies the events or sensationalises them like everyday media, it actually provides some insight and reflection, and highlights something that we as a society should be looking into. After all would Meryl Streep star in a film about such a story if it didn't provide dramatic weight and insight?
Of course there's always the final line that this is drama, pure and simple, and if you can't differentiate that from your own real life then is that a fault of the film-makers or you?
There's another school shooting related film called Life Before Her Eyes which stars Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood. Directed by the excellent Vadim Perelman, it is about a woman who survived a school shooting and her survivor guilt begins to unravel her current life.
I'd say that the time is more than right to see Dark Matter, as well as Life Before Her Eyes.