Overall Rating: 4/5
October 12, 2016
Dir. Keith Maitland
The Tower is a documentary/drama that explores the story of the shootings in Austin, Texas about 50 years ago. The subject matter is sensitive, and the film does a good job at approaching it in a sensitive manner as well as a new one (for those that may be familiar with it). I grew up in Austin for most of my life and have heard many takes on the way this all went down, so I had a particular interest in this film.
Despite my interest in the subject matter, I would have rated it a 2 or 3 because of the film’s lengthy and bogged-down introduction if it weren’t for its second half. The use of animation primarily for re-enactments is intelligent and works in most ways, but it takes a long time for the direction of the film to be established which almost makes the animation feel almost “artsy fartsy” rather than tasteful until things take a turn… The viewer is shown and told where things are going about half-way through the film; certain changes occur in the way the film’s story is told, and, in my opinion, it’s this more articulated and emotional second half that saves the film.
The Tower presents a mostly-narrated history of tragic events using some new perspectives and untold stories that is absolutely worth a watch if you have any interest in its subject matter.