Friday, April 20 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings.

In the years since, a spate of films, television shows and episodes, books, articles, and events have attempted to tackle the overwhelmingly American phenomenon of the school shooting. Sandy Hook, Isla Vista, Jonesboro, and most recently, the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. All of us can name the site of a horrific and unforgettable massacre, wrought upon kids, often by other kids, without hesitation for thought. According to a recent CNN report, there have already been 17 school shootings in 2018, 10 of which occurred in high schools. 

One piece of work that continues to stand out as a particularly resonant inquiry into the psychosocial dynamics of the school shooting is Jim Shepard’s 2005 novel Project X. And Then I Go adapts Shepard’s novel of high school outcasts bound together by private suffering and public humiliation into a searing thriller, starring Justin Long, Melanie Lynskey, and Tony Hale. The film is director Vincent Grashaw’s second feature following 2013’s juvie drama Coldwater.

In the clip below, when Herman (Dallas Edwards) reveals he’s being bullied by another student, his friend Flake (Sawyer Barths) asks if he wants in on their plan for revenge:

This year’s Columbine anniversary feels closer than ever in the wake of the Parkland shootings; across the country, thousands of schools have pledged to commemorate Columbine with National School Walkout Day, to advocate for more comprehensive gun control policy. And Then I Go arrives, sadly, at a needful time.
And Then I Go opened on Digital and On Demand April 17, 2018, courtesy of The Orchard. Featured image courtesy of L.A. Film Festival.