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Genre: Documentary

Year: 2012

Rating: NR

The shootings at Columbine High School on April 20th 1999 ended thirteen lives and shattered countless others. But while the tragic events of that day were well documented, the stories of the families who lost loved ones and struggled to build new lives have yet to be told.

Bound forever by unimaginable circumstances, these thirteen families lived through the same tragedy, yet each has dealt with the aftermath in their own way…and each has a different story of how their lives have changed.

13 Families weaves an intimate tapestry of hope, providing the families a forum to tell their personal stories…stories that are not tainted by any media angle but rather seek to tell the unvarnished truth of their experience. The families provided the filmmakers exclusive and unprecedented access, sharing insightful and intimate details of their lives.

What happened to the Columbine families could happen to anyone, and perhaps that’s why the event had such an impact on the nation and the world. What the film demonstrates is how ordinary individuals can be confronted with a sudden and devastating loss yet find the strength to move forward.

In addition, the film touches on the issues of gun control, school violence, and the painful reality that tragedies like Columbine and Virginia Tech continue to plague our nation.

"13 Families: Life After Columbine" not only looks back at that tragic day that changed the lives of so many people but it also takes us into the lives of the 13 families who will forever be connected and how each has been able to cope since then. It's a day no one will ever forget but it's hard for anyone to ever imagine losing a child to such a violent act. It makes you question many things including your faith, how can something like this happen to me?

Sadly violence in schools has been going on before and after that tragic day in 1999 and it leaves many questions unanswered. This film introduces us to all 13 families, it takes us inside their homes, their hearts and their minds. Everyone effected has grieved in different ways, some just went into a shell, other still cannot except the fact that their child is gone and others became motivated by what happened and went to to help in fighting gun control laws and doing speeches in schools about treating others the way you would want to be treated. We all know what it's like to be in a school full of 1000's of students, everyone is different and there's groups that form and everyone is looked at and treated differently. It's just human nature but what happened on 4/20/1999 was something no one could of seen coming.

This is truly a heart wrenching film, you really feel for each and every family as they attempt to just keep living all these years after. There are some inspirational moments in the film as well but mostly it's a look back at an event so brutal that it changed the lives of so many forever. The film not shows the families as they open up about what their lives have been like since but it also shows us the media circus that went on as well in a time when these people needed to be consoled not looked at.

The film also takes a look at the Virgina Tech shootings in 2007 and how it opened old wounds. There's so many questions that there seems to be no answers for, like how can a child or anyone for that matter commit such a crime against humanity? Does such behavior start at home? Could it have been prevented if the parents spent more time with their children instead of being so consumed with their own lives outside the home? They're questions we may never get any answers for but I believe it is a valid one and I believe parents need to leave their outside world where it's at and spend more time with their children, talking to them and asking how their doing and how they cope with the pressures that come with being a child.

What happened at Columbine High School was a sad, tragic and senseless act that left many lives shattered in it's wake, I hope this film open people's eyes to the problems children face, the peer pressure, the bullying and the lack of a loving home all of which could contribute to such a hideous act.

The film focuses and asks a lot of questions but it also shows us the parents and siblings of each and every child lost that day and what their lives are like now, it's a sad but hopeful look but an important and honorable one. Let's not forget to thank the filmmakers here for not only creating the best look at the aftermath but for creating a forum for the families so they could tell their stories. I hope the film allowed them in some way to heal a little more. My prayers are with them all and I wish them all the best.

"13 Families: Life After Columbine" is not an easy film to watch but it's an important one and it's a film I highly recommend to everyone. I would like to think that maybe lives could be saved in the future if parents along with their children watch this film together and talk about it after. After-all hope is a big part of what the film is all about. I would like to thank everyone involved in the making of this film, it's an important film that I hope opens many eyes.

The DVD will be available on August 7th so please remember the date and be sure to pick it up. You can pre-order the DVD HERE.

I would also suggest you visit the film's Official site HERE. and be be to visit the In Memory page as well.

Released by Osiris Entertainment

***** Out Of *****