When all else fails, an elementary school teacher must rely on her survival tactics to protect the lives of her students.
Story idea by Stacey Carew (Bustamante) / Written for Screen & Directed by Julissa Scopino
The Most Important Films International Film Festival 2021
"We are in rags? Let's show the world our rags. We are defeated. Let's look at our disasters." -- Alberto Lattuada.
"American Lockdown" emerged from a place of social despair, addressing the alarming shooter epidemic that plagues our society. This cautionary tale illuminates the devastating consequences of our collective negligence. America has hidden behind the shadows of hope, praying that our shooter epidemic would somehow resolve itself. However, this approach has only led us to be defeated in a new kind of war. Each day, our wounds grow more profound, and the problem persists. It's time to look at our mess with open eyes. I present “American Lockdown”, a non-escapist film.
A narrative of crime and punishment, the villainous school shooter, played by Nico Bustamante, who currently stars as Ricky DeSantos in CW's show "Riverdale," confronts the social structures that have failed him - institution, family, society, and religion. The core of "American Lockdown" is the infiltration of chaos. Nothing is settling about this film; it attacks the viewer by unmasking a desperate institution. The film poses questions on how to demolish the school shooter within a kid while saving himself. It's our biggest generational challenge right now. In "American Lockdown," the teacher strangles the school shooter, although she is only killing that troubled part of the kid, while in theory, the victimized kid himself carries on into an open ending of the film. It's a story that calls for new purposes in platforms assisting youths through emotional crises on a case-by-case basis before the kid gestates the shooter within them. It opens up the conversation that I like to call "humanizing the shooter" and understanding how that "shooter mindset" can permeate any kid if he or she doesn't get help.
This film points out the obvious - it storms, rallies, unveils, and it's in your face and forces you to watch the spectacle that permeates our schools. Together, step by step, let's gauge an academic environment that breeds confidence, fosters happiness, garners smiles, and creates space where kids can drive growth. But first, we have to show our "rags."
For me, "American Lockdown" was the most challenging film to make and watch. It attempts to rattle many complex themes. My favorite part is the ending credits, where we hear the shooter in his innocent moment asking for help, knowing that part of him remains alive.