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PBS to Air 'Newtown' Documentary and Make It Available for Streaming

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"Newtown," a documentary about the 2012 shootings of 20 young children and six staff members at a Connecticut elementary school, gets a much wider audience this week.

The two-hour film, which focuses on the aftermath of the events at  Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, will air Monday, April 3, at 9 p.m. Eastern time (check local listings) on the PBS documentary series "Independent Lens."

The film by director/producer Kim A. Snyder and producer Maria Cuomo Cole was shown at several film festivals last year and had a one-night national film theater simulcast in November. 

Now, besides a national broadcast on public television, the film will be available for online streaming on the "Independent Lens" website beginning April 4.

As I noted in a November item about the theater simulcast, I reviewed "Newtown" last June when it was shown at the AFI DOCS festival in Washington. The film is "unavoidably sad, but nonetheless gripping."

"Newtown" is "not chiefly about the tick-tock of what happened at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012, though there is enough context about the facts and some harrowing dashcam video of police cars arriving on the scene," my review said, adding that the film "is primarily about the painful aftermath for families that lost a child or sibling and a community where life must go on. Three or four families touched by the tragedy offer incredibly poignant perspectives on how they cope with the loss of a child, or in the case of one Sandy Hook teacher, having been inside the school."

Snyder, the director, told the audience at last year's AFI DOCS screening that she believed every member of Congress should watch the film. Now, thanks to "Independent Lens,"  lawmakers don't have much of an excuse for not being able to see it, even if they weren't able to catch it at a trendy film festival or a one-night cinema event.

This clip features a neighbor of Sandy Hook school and the mother of a 1st grader who survived.

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