Monday June 25, 2018

Documentary “Newtown” Looks at How Connecticut Town have Coped with Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings in 2012

The new documentary uses first-person interviews with some of the victims' families, neighbors and co-workers to tell the story

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FILE - Balloons are displayed outside a doctor's office on the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, in Newtown, Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2013. VOA
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November 3, 2016: It has been nearly four years since 20 children and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Over the past three years, filmmakers have followed the town and its families as they tried to understand and recover from the massacre. Their new documentary, “Newtown,” opened Wednesday in theaters across the country.

Newtown, with a population of about 28,000, had recorded only one homicide in the 10 years before December 14, 2012. That day, Sandy Hook became the site of one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history. In all, 28 people died; gunman Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home before going to the school. He then committed suicide as first responders arrived at the scene.

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The new documentary uses first-person interviews with some of the victims’ families, neighbors and co-workers to tell the story.

In one scene, Mark Barden, whose son, Daniel, was killed, talks about the “little secrets stashed around” his residence that remind him of the boy.

“He used to wear this old yellow football helmet when he would ride in the seat on the back of my bicycle,” Barden said. “And I have that in the garage, and it still has some beautiful, little, long, blond hairs of his in it.”

FILE - A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Dec. 14, 2013, the one-year anniversary of the shootings. VOA
FILE – A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Dec. 14, 2013, the one-year anniversary of the shootings. VOA

In another scene, Nicole Hockley, who lost her son, Dylan, shows a room stacked with boxes of condolence cards, gifts, and other items from well-wishers.

“This is most of the stuff that’s been, um … I don’t even know how many thousands of letters,” she said. “And, uh, gifts. And portraits. So many of them have never been opened because I just can’t do that yet.”

Kim Snyder, who also directed “Welcome to Shelbyville,” a film about Somali refugee immigrants in small-town America, directed “Newtown.”

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“We felt we had not seen a film like this that had really looked at the trajectory of up to three years. … Sadly, there’s been so many [shootings] since. But I think Newtown for so many people was a watershed moment and … we needed to bear witness to that, with the hope that something could change,” she said.

Maria Cuomo Cole, the film’s producer, said the filmmakers wanted to remain sensitive to the pain community members were in, but also wanted to highlight the bravery and endurance shown by Newtown.

“Kim and I felt that it was extremely important to be as sensitive as possible, of course, in telling this important story — a story that we don’t have the luxury to forget in America. It’s hard stuff,” she said. “But it’s part of who we are, and hopefully we can learn from it and can create change to keep communities safe.”

FILE - Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut breaks the news that the Senate failed to pass any of four procedural votes on new gun legislation to Erica Smegielski, daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, at the Capitol in Washington, June 20, 2016. VOA
FILE – Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut breaks the news that the Senate failed to pass any of four procedural votes on new gun legislation to Erica Smegielski, daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, at the Capitol in Washington, June 20, 2016. VOA

The film takes a hopeful turn when it shows community members taking part in the Daniel Barden Mudfest, an endurance race that benefits several charities. And in another scene, Nicole Hockley was able to go into the room of condolence gifts and open some of them.

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The issue of gun control has been hotly debated in this year’s presidential campaign. Cuomo Cole said her hope was that Newtown would touch people’s hearts on both sides of the issue and would result in change.

That change has still not arrived. This year, the deadliest massacre in modern U.S. history took place in Orlando, Florida, with 49 people gunned down at a nightclub. (VOA)

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  • tom2

    Seems to most of us that Murphy’s mindset is precisely what enabled this unspeakable atrocity. And to this day, most public schools encourage that their pupils not be protected from the cretins who would harm them. Any armed guards in Connecticut schools yet? Does anyone really believe mere laws will disarm nuts, felons or terrorists? Perhaps Murphy has his sights set higher than public safety or his current public office.

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)