Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
By Baby Boomer
I was 16 when the shooting occurred at the university and found the situation horrifying. As time goes by, the memories dim of events. When I took my son to freshman orientation at the University of Texas in Austin, I passed the tower and remembered the shock of the events. This gripping and historical documentary artfully tells the shocking story of the events that unfolded in 1966 as well as showing the humanity of those who worked to save lives. I thought the use of animation in no way diminished the power of this documentary and, in fact, found it riveting. I highly recommend this film.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
Slaughter Of Innocents, Grace Under Pressure
The documentary feature film, Tower (2016), recreates August 1, 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin with real-time radio, film, and TV coverage, along with animated recreations and present-day interviews and recollections. The film is two hours of history, of a terrible few hours when a sniper atop the university's tower picked off several dozen students and others, killing 14. Three years earlier, the press had reported and misrepresented the murder in Queens, New York, of Kitty Genovese, repeating the false version of events by claiming that none of the many witnesses in the surrounding apartment buildings did anything to help her. Decades later the true version emerged, which included the many efforts to help her and to get help, as well as uncovering the basis for the misrepresentations. But the emotional and psychic damage had been done because of the way the news reporting had been managed. The damage appeared in the form of urban society's being indicted for its apathy and me-only selfishness -- 20th-century code for godlessness.
Yet with Tower, we witness the kind of courage and selflessness that we have come to believe only exists in the military and in families. Students and others risk certain death or injury to help and save wounded or dying victims they don't know. These actions of fellowship and compassion were not widely reported at the time, for the story at the time was about the failure of society and that was the story that played.
Finally, words fail, they failed then and they fail now, to comprehend the incomprehensible. But the film is a brilliant and artful work to help us remember lost time.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful. See all 78 customer reviews...
#7 in Times Magazine's Top 10 Movies in 2016
By Ashley Elizabeth Blair Tetzlaff
I heard about this movie in Times Magazine (Dec. 19, 2016 edition). It ranked #7 in "The 10 Best Movies" for 2016. They said "Keith Maitland's nonfiction account of the Aug. 1, 1966, University of Texas shootings, in which 16 people were killed by a gunman perched in a clock tower, is unlike any other documentary ever made. Maitland combines archival footage, eyewitness testimony and animation to vivid and terrifying effect. But the picture is noteworthy for another reason: What does it mean to have a stranger risk his or her life to save yours? Tower brings that feeling home."
Well, after a description like that I just HAD to watch it. Also, I was born and raised in Texas... I'd seen the tower on visits to the Capitol... and I had NEVER heard the story before. Ever.
I thought Tower was the best documentary I've ever seen. I LOVED that they used life-like animation to do the re-enactments. The emotions and scenes came across so much more vividly than I think it would if done by real people. The story was gripping and heart-rending. This mass shooting (49 wounded... 18 of whom ended up dying) was only the 2nd mass shooting in American history (the other was 1949) and I believe it was the first mass shooting broadcast live on radio all over the nation and scenes from the shooting broadcast on TV later that evening. It was Americans first experience with something that has become all too familiar in our day. And the bravery shown by men and women, citizens and police, that day should inspire us to do likewise if put in a similar situation.
Very well done film. Not at all boring. Highly recommended!