Private Project

The Etiquette of American Massacres

Mass shootings in the United States have become so common that they impact the way we live, the way we see ourselves, and the way we experience grief, almost on a daily basis. We forget some and not others. We grieve more and less at different times. We do not know how to properly honor the dead, and though we seek to protect the living, political obstacles seem to prevent us from escaping the seemingly endless rounds of guns, the seemingly endless number of massacres. We adapt to the onslaughts. But what adaptations allow us to keep our souls? In "The Etiquette of Massacres" filmmaker Alexandria Searls documents her reactions to the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. A painted bridge offers a metaphor for our collective predicament.

  • Alexandria Searls
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1920 x 1080
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Feminist Border Arts Film Festival
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    United States
    March 8, 2019
    North American premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Alexandria Searls

Alexandria Searls is an environmental educator and non-profit Executive Director who teaches photography, film, and other arts of exploration at the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Previously, she worked as an editor for a documentary film company, the James Agee Film Project, and she taught media production at the University of Virginia. In the early 2000s, she made documentary short films about protests and other conflicts in society. "Party and Protest," about the Bush inauguration protests, was screened at the Maryland Film Festival, among others. "Black Spot," about U.S. military stockpiling, showed at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and "The End of My Enchilada," which portrayed the filmmaker being interviewed by Homeland Security in a Mexican restaurant, was shown at the Big Muddy Film Festival.
Her recent environmental films, underwater videos of the Rivanna River, were made to experience the river in new ways and as examples for the children in her journaling programs. She is mapping the Rivanna River from underneath.

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