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American Totem

Subtitle: Reckoning with Gun Cultures
Director: Sue Hildebrand
Publication Date: 2020
Language: English
Book webpage: https://www.videoproject.com/American-Totem.html
Abstract: After public mass shootings, the national gun debate consists of predictable talking points that focus on the object and neglect the underlying causes. However, firearms are unlike other objects. For some Americans, they are the symbols of personal identity and community. For other Americans, they represent racial oppression and violence. American Totem explores American’s emotional connection to firearms, and the power of this object to both create and destroy community. Taking a non-artisan approach, diverse communities, gun rights activists, gunshot victims and community organizers share their stories; and historians, philosophers, and sociologists offer their viewpoints. Exploring the topic of guns in America from a more nuanced approach than the standard “more guns versus less guns” debate, American Totem recognizes that Americans have complex, and often contradictory, relationships with firearms.
Subject Keywords: Gun Culture, Second Amendment, American Studies
Distributor: Video Project
Genre: Documentary
Format: DVD
Running Time: 79 minutes