Independent Lens: Newtown

About This Episode


On December 14, 2012, a disturbed young man committed a horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that took the lives of 20 elementary school children and six educators. Filmed over the course of nearly three years, Newtown uses deeply personal, never-before-heard testimonies to tell the story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. Through raw and heartbreaking interviews with parents, siblings, teachers, doctors, and first responders, Newtown documents a traumatized community still reeling from the senseless killing, fractured by grief but driven toward a sense of purpose.

There are no words of compassion or reassurance that can bring back those who lost their lives during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Instead, Snyder delves into the lives and homes of those who remain, all of whom have been indelibly changed by the events. They speak candidly about their grief, anger, and disbelief over what occurred and their disappointment that nothing has truly changed in regards to the country’s legislative response to gun violence. Newtown bears witness to their profound grief and allows it to reverberate within our collective conscience, exploring what happens to a community after it becomes the epicenter of a national discussion, and what it must cope with after the cameras leave.