Movie about school killings stirs controversy

A movie to be released Friday (at least in Quebec) has stirred controversy because of its subject: the mass shooting at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.

The murderer was an anti-feminist and killed 14 women in the school’s engineering building before taking his own life. The authorities conducted only an abbreviated investigation of the event, hoping to ease the suffering of families by not dragging everyone back through it, but leaving much to dramatic license in the film.

The murders did lead to tougher gun laws in Canada, as well as an analysis of police response to shooting sprees like this one, seen most recently at Virginia Tech, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northern Illinois University.

Critical reviews are surprising in that they are drastically mixed: some critics have given the movie four out of four stars, while other critics predict a total flop. Some papers report that it will be released in French only on Feb. 6, and others claim both the English and French versions are being released in Quebec on Feb. 6, with release dates set for the rest of the country still undertermined.

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Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.