The Capri, Ballroom Marfa, and Carolyn Pfeiffer presented a screening of the documentary Tower, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Keith Maitland and Sarah Wilson.
On what seemed like a typical summer day, August 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. Using a unique blend of historical archival footage, interviews and rotoscope animation, Tower reveals the action-packed, untold stories of the witnesses, heroes, and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.
Tower unfolds as a moment-by-moment re-telling of the events of the day, highlighting the fear, confusion, and visceral realities of the shooting rampage. After the gunfire subsides, the story shifts to examine the immediate aftermath for these individuals and for society. Finally, Tower steps out of the shadow of history to reveal the subjects as they are in the present day, exploring the legacy of the shooting through the eyes of the survivors of a story they’ll never forget, but in some cases had not talked about for decades.
This event was free and open to the public.
Keith Maitland (Director/Producer/Editor) was drawn to the story of the Texas Tower shooting when he first heard about the shooting from an eyewitness — his seventh-grade history teacher. A graduate of the University of Texas, Keith began researching for Tower after the 40th anniversary of the shooting in 2006 and began production on Tower in 2012. Maitland is the director of the Emmy-nominated The Eyes of Me, a year-in-the-life of four blind teens. The film was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens and was honored with a Barbara Jordan Media Award by the State of Texas. Director of documentary features, commercials, and TV series, his credits also include seven seasons with NBC’s Law & Order as an Assistant Director. Maitland is a graduate of the Directors Guild of America Trainee Program and the PBS Producers Academy.
The screening of Through the Repellent Fence is made possible by the generous support of Ballroom Marfa members and the Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees.
In kind support provided by Big Bend Brewing Co. and SAVED Wines.
Ballroom Marfa extends a special thank you to Todd Bockley, The Capri, Vicente Celis, Rob Crowley, Tim Crowley, the Crowley Theater, Cuca Flores, Mahala Guevara, Rosario Halpern and the Big Bend Sentinel, Glen Hansen, David Hartstein Cody Lee, Marfa Public Radio, Diana Nguyen, Peggy O’Brien, Gory Smelley, Chris Taylor, and Emily Williams.