Movie Analysis : ' Elephant ' Essay

2017 Words Aug 1st, 2016 9 Pages
Director Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant” is a docudrama thus, the events in the film are based on the 1999 Columbine school shooting in Colorado, United States. A docudrama also known as documentary drama is a genre which contains dramatized re-enactments of an actual event. In the case of Elephant, Van Sant bases the story line for the film on the events that occurred that day at Columbine High in 1999. However what distinguishes Van Sant’s film from a documentary is the fact that he switches up the characters involved, not following exactly what happened in hours, minutes leading up to the school shooting. Because this is an ‘indie’ film there is director allows the audience to discover the ‘found story.’ Van Sant does not attempt to provide answers to why the two teenage boys decided to shoot their fellow students, but to allow the audience to watch the film and to think about the many triggers that could cause young people to do this. The basis of the plot is very similar to the real-life events that occurred for example the way in which the two boys carried out the shooting towards the end of the film and many of the other characters were based upon real students from Columbine. Although Van Sant did change the traits of the main characters slightly and what happened leading up to the shooting, as this enabled the director to express what teenagers deal with day to day, in high school and also outside of the school. If Van Sant created a documentary then it would have not…

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