Bulletproof

Bulletproof

Todd Chandler / 2020 / 84 minutes

Bulletproof explores the complexities of violence in schools by looking at the strategies employed to prevent it. The film observes the longstanding rituals that take place in and around American schools: homecoming parades, basketball practice, morning announcements, and math class. Unfolding alongside these scenes are a collection of newer traditions: lockdown drills, teacher firearms training, metal detector screenings, and school safety trade shows. Bulletproof asks what these rituals reflect back at us, looking beyond immediate causes and responses to mass shootings in a cinematic meditation on the array of forces that shape the culture of violence in the United States.

  • “Dreamlike. Startling. Uses vérité observation to present an alarmed and alarming vision of safety."

    — Teo Bugbee, The New York Times
  • “A perceptive and artful film. Consistently compelling. A deep inquiry into the ways in which the threat of violence in schools shapes our very conceptions around safety and community.”

    — Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
  • “A sly, sharp-eyed documentary. A quiet gut punch of a film, one that takes in the culture of violence in the US through observations of routine rather than infamous ruptures.”

    — Adrian Horton, The Guardian
  • “A carefully framed window into a disturbingly off-kilter world.”

    Neil Young, Screen Daily
  • “A powerful film. Chandler gently guides us through the material, his editorial and cinematographic choices doing the work instead of commentary."

    — Christopher Llewellyn, Hammer to Nail
  • “Chilling. Candid and heartbreaking. A keenly observational documentary that depicts the day-to-day normalization of the unspeakable.”

    Guy Lodge, Variety
  • "A gripping meditation on violence in American schools."

    — Leonard Pearce, The Film Stage
  • “Director Todd Chandler examines how institutions deal with the challenges of unthinkable systemic problems.”

    — Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic
  • “A fascinating investigation. Brilliant. Invaluable. A smartly conceived look at the first generation of students to prepare for mass shootings and how fear of them has been commoditized.”

    — Stephen Saito, Moveable Feast
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