Five decades on from the tragic campus shooting that rocked the University of Texas, Keith Maitland’s new documentary Tower is set to shine a new light on the Austin attack of ’66.
Effortlessly combining archival footage from the day itself with rotoscopic animation, today brings forth a new look at Maitland’s feature in motion, as it sets about recounting everything from first-person testimonials to eye witness accounts in a bid to present a comprehensive account of the tragedy. Although we recently passed the 50th anniversary, the Austin campus shooting is as timely as ever, as Tower chronicles the story of Texas Tower Sniper Charles Whitman, who took the lives of 16 people before being killed by the police.
It may not be the most infamous shooting in American history but below, Maitland presents his case in beautiful fashion.
August 1, 1966, was the day our innocence was shattered. A sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the iconic University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes in what was a previously unimaginable event. TOWER combines archival footage with rotoscopic animation of the dramatic day, based entirely on first person testimonies from witnesses, heroes and survivors, in a seamless and suspenseful retelling of the unfolding tragedy. The film highlights the fear, confusion, and visceral realities that changed the lives of those present, and the rest of us, forever – a day when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.
Look for Tower to open via limited release next month, with a premiere booked in at New York’s Film Forum on October 12, before expanding west to Los Angeles two days later on October 14. Below, you’ll be able to lay eyes on the stylish one-sheet, which champions Maitland’s festival darling as one of the “most essential films of the year.”