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The Killing of America

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Jan 12, 2022

The Killing of America (Japanese: アメリカン・バイオレンス, Hepburn: Amerikan baiorensu, “American violence”) is a 1982 Japanese-American documentary film directed by Sheldon Renan and Leonard Schrader. The film was premiered in New York City in February 1982 and was shown at the 2013 Fantasia Festival.[1]

1981 mondo film directed by Sheldon Renan and Leonard Schrader
The Killing of America
Directed by Sheldon Renan
Leonard Schrader
Written by Chieko Schrader
Leonard Schrader
Produced by Leonard Schrader
Mataichirô Yamamoto
Narrated by Chuck Riley
Edited by Lee Percy
Music by W. Michael Lewis
Mark Lindsay
Production
companies
Filmlink International
Towa Productions
Distributed by Toho-Towa
Release date
September 1981
Running time
90 minutes
Countries United States
Japan
Language English

. . . The Killing of America . . .

The Killing of America focuses on what the director feels is the decline of the United States. It features interviews from Ed Dorris, a retired sergeant of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, as well as Los Angeles County CoronerThomas Noguchi. The documentary also shows several interviews with convicted killers such as Sirhan Sirhan as well as footage of murders and news broadcasts. It connects the beginning of America’s woes with the assassination of John F. Kennedy and posits that hope of recovery was snuffed out when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 (the film features footage from the Zapruder film and news footage from the night that Robert Kennedy was killed). According to the film the 1960s saw the rise of “sniper” mass murderers who were often white, well-adjusted people that killed people seemingly at random (exemplified in the film by the murders of Charles Whitman). The 1970s saw the rise of what the film calls “sex killers”, serial killers such as Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy who also raped and sexually abused their victims. A section of the film also analyses the Cleveland Elementary School shooting in 1979, in which a 16-year-old teenager opened fire on a group of children and staff from her window opposite an elementary school in San Diego, injuring 9 people and killing the school’s principal and a janitor.

The last part of the film goes over the murder of John Lennon and ends with footage from a Central Park vigil for the slain musician. The narrators’ last lines are: “Two people were shot at this Central Park vigil. While you watched this movie, five more of us were murdered, one was the random killing of a stranger.”

. . . The Killing of America . . .

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. . . The Killing of America . . .