Todd Chandler’s sobering film, Bulletproof – partially developed at the Sundance Institute Documentary Program – reveals the extent to which American schools have become simulacrums of prisons over the past 30 years.
As the deadly drumbeat of school shootings continues – with more incidents in the two decades of the 21st century than the entire 20th – Chandler concentrates on the attempts to prevent shootings, rather than the depressing litany of deaths that rolling 24/7 news relentlessly pumps out.
There are no statistics in Bulletproof – and with the exception of a couple of interviews (one of which, with the ex-military security chief of a large Texas high school that boasts a $6.5 million state of the art security system, forms a loose thread through the narrative) – Chandler lets the images and snippets of conversation tell the story.
At times the director’s approach is apparently as random as a school shooting: he moves seamlessly from …
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