over 4 years
subtle, real, and very powerful. Van Sant has a real touch for "outsider" characters.
Elephant is a 2003 drama film edited, written, and directed by Gus Van Sant. It takes place in the fictional Watt High School, in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, and chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting, based in part on the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The film begins a short time before the shooting occurs, following the lives of several characters both in and out of school, who are unaware of what is about to unfold. The film stars mostly new or non-professional actors, including John Robinson, Alex Frost, and Eric Deulen.
This is the second film in Gus Van Sant's "Death Trilogy". The first is Gerry, and the third is Last Days; all three are based on actual events.
The film was generally acclaimed by critics and received the Palme d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. As the first high-profile movie to depict a high school shooting since Columbine, the film was controversial for its subject matter and possible influence on teenage copy-cats.
The film opens...