Northwest Connections | 2017 | 84 minutes
Stranger Says:I saw an early and pretty rough draft of this feature film by the local filmmaker Jagger Gravning. It is not not controversial, as it is based on the 2006 Capitol Hill Massacre and is shot from the perspective of the killer (who is based on Kyle Huff) and not his victims (the six young ravers). The film, however, is an examination not so much of the killer’s motives but of the kind of rural intolerance (Huff was from Montana) that placed in the White House a president who wants to build a wall on the Mexican border and ban Muslims. In the movie, the killer (called the Perpetrator) is an angry white male who guns down ravers who are peace-loving, cosmopolitan, and sex-positive. Wallflower, which took five years to complete and has a stunning rave sequence, will be seen as a critique of the Trump age and rural rage.
SIFF Says:Writer/director Jagger Gravning recounts the Capitol Hill massacre of 2006 in this docudrama, based on the events of that night. Though the story of a mass shooter and his victims is, sadly, not an uncommon one, this film traces the events through the eyes of the perpetrator as he struggles with the choices he’s made and the ones he hasn’t. As he meets an eccentric group of ravers who welcome him into their home and lives, making him question what he believes he must do, the conflict within himself is evident. In the words of Gravning, this film is not meant to gain sympathy for the 2006 shooter, Kyle Huff. Rather, he uses Wallflower as a homage to empathy, reveling in the fact that if empathy is shown to those who put themselves in the position of the perpetrator, tragic events of this nature will stop becoming the norm in this culture. Gravning’s passion for the project and message is evident throughout the film, while also paying tribute to the creative, colorful, lively cultivation of the Seattle rave scene.
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