What They Left Behind, a new documentary film chronicling the stories of three children whose lives were lost to gun violence, will premiere December 10 at the Helen Mills Theater in New York.
The film, directed by Tarik Karam and executive produced by Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-nominated director of The Reader, The Hours and Billy Elliot, is being released four days in advance of the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Seven-year-old Mark Barden, who was one of the 20 children murdered at Sandy Hook that day, is one of the three children featured in the film. His father, Mark Barden, will be on hand for the premiere. Bill Sherlach, the husband of Mary Sherlach, the Sandy Hook school psychologist who was killed while heroically trying to protect the students, will also be present at the film’s premiere.
The film, presented by the non-profit group Sandy Hook Promise, also looks at the events leading up to the death of a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide with her father’s gun, and at an argument among young boys in Iowa that ended in bloodshed. The film aims to shed light on the underlying issues that allow these tragedies to take place in the hope that viewers might better understand how gun deaths can be prevented.
This week, another more inclusive group from Newtown — the Newtown Action Alliance led by Po Murray — has gathered together gun victims from 18 states and they converged on Washington today to speak to lawmakers under a program called Honor with Action; tomorrow will be a vigil at the National Cathedral where victims from Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine and other lesser well-known shootings will be present. There have been 95 school shootings since Newtown.