After a successful festival run this year, including a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the documentary Us Kids is now hitting virtual cinemas. The film will be available through the Alamo Drafthouse virtual screening platform, Alamo on Demand, starting October 30.
Directed by Kim A. Snyder (Newton), Us Kids tells the story of the young men and women behind Never Again MSD, a student-led advocacy group demanding more stringent regulations to prevent gun violence. The students, including Latinx activists Emma González and Samantha Fuentes, are survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of a 2018 shooting that left 17 students and staff members dead at the hands of a 19-year-old gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
The shooting sparked March for Our Lives, a million-person demonstration in support of legislation that would help end gun violence. This includes steps like raising the federal age of gun ownership to 21, establishing universal background checks, banning the sale of high-capacity magazines, closing gun show loopholes, and reinstating the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
In the trailer, which was just released for the first time Thursday afternoon (Oct. 22), we meet the survivors, some at their most vulnerable. Fuentes, an 18-year-old senior at Stoneman Douglas at the time of the tragedy, was shot in both legs.
“I was thinking about how we were going to get out, if he was going to come back, was I going to die” Fuentes says in the trailer.
Fuentes was inspired to become a gun control advocate by González when she saw her give an impassioned speech on TV at the March for Our Lives rally. “I just remember looking up to her and thinking, ‘Wow, I could do that.’”
Working together to spread their message across the globe, the students from Stoneman Douglas are seen by many as a group of young fighters who are not asking for change – they are demanding it. As one voice in the trailer recognizes, they have created “a real movement, not just a moment.”