"Elephant" is a smart, studied and artful look at the school shooting phenomena. Director Gus Van Sant creates a dreamlike quality as events play out from the perspective of half a dozen or so unrelated students, all but two of whom believe it's just an ordinary day.
Elephant is a 2003 drama film edited, written and directed by Gus Van Sant. It takes place in fictional Watt High School in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, and chronicles the events surrounding a school shooting, based in part on the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
The film begins a short time before the shooting occurs, following the lives of several characters both in and out of school, unaware of what is about to unfold. The film stars mostly new or non-professional actors, including John Robinson, Alex Frost, and Eric Deulen.
Elephant was generally acclaimed by critics and received the Palme d'Or at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.