Review: ‘Us Kids’ shows the human side of activists who survived Parkland shooting

Review: ‘Us Kids’ shows the human side of activists who survived Parkland shooting

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate Emma Gonzalez in “Us Kids.” Photo: K.A. Snyder Productions You know their names: Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky. Now you can get to know what they and other teenage survivors of the 2018 school massacre in Parkland, Fla., are really like. There’s no doubt that “Us Kids,” streaming through Alamo Drafthouse Virtual Cinema starting Friday, Oct. 30, is a pro-gun-control documentary. Director Kim A. Snyder’s last feature-length effort, after all, was the Peabody Award-winning “Newtown,” about another senseless slaughter of children. What’s remarkable about “Us Kids,” though, is that for all its partisan positioning and footage of folks righteously cheering for their side, it really reveals a lot about several of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who spent the summer of ’18 touring the country to help defeat National Rifle Association-backed candidates in the midterm elections. For example, we see how 20-year-old Gonzalez, the shaved-headed symbol of the group’s indignation, can be a fun-loving goofball when not “on” — and cherishes her ability to still act silly after living through the massacre of 17 people. De facto spokesman Hogg, also 20, weathers death threats and right-wing media lies about him by chilling out on airboat rides through the isolated Everglades. Student-turned-activist David Hogg in a scene from “Us Kids.” Photo: K.A. Snyder Productions Samantha Fuentes, wounded in the shooting, suffers from PTSD paranoia that makes the 20-year-old vomit in the middle of giving public speeches, and yet she manages to […]

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