Parkland Rising Parent Guide
This documentary is a tribute to those whose dedication changes a country's conversation and eventually its laws.
Parent Movie Review
Gun control is a controversial issue and we recognize that our readers have divergent opinions on the topic. This review is not meant as an endorsement of any particular position on gun control but as an assessment of the movie on its own merits.
In the wake of the February 14th, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and 17 injured, Rebecca Boldrick feels her family’s good fortune. “We’re the lucky ones,” she acknowledges. “Our children survived. But they’re different children. Their childhoods ended that day and their lives of activism began.”
Parkland Rising tells the story of this youthful activism. The documentary focuses on Rebecca’s son, David Hogg, fellow student Ally Hirsch, and bereaved parent Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin Oliver died in the shooting. By turns inspiring, heart-breaking, and terrifying, this production is a tribute to those who can, in the midst of their own grief, dedicate their lives to the safety of their fellow citizens.
Although the commitment and passion of the students are uplifting, this documentary does not minimize their long term trauma. As one student points out: “I’m not a survivor yet. I’m still healing. I’m still processing.” The movie shows just how much the kids have to process. Opening with cell phone footage from inside the school and audio from the 911 calls made during the attack, Parkland Rising takes us into the fear and terror of the assault. In candid interviews, the teens share their emotions during the shooting and the fears that can now be triggered by everyday events and sounds.
As the camera follows David Hogg, it becomes clear that his life as a gun control activist is a hazardous one. He receives death threats and is cat-called, sworn at, and threatened in public. Despite his calm persona, Hogg frets over the misinformation about him sweeping the internet. He’s convinced that the hate-filled memes will get him killed, but as he says “We’ve lost our friends. What else do we have to lose?” Just as disturbing as Hogg’s casual acceptance of his possible death is listening to his father, a former FBI agent, share his fears for his son’s safety and discuss his own constant surveillance of every crowd.
Parents or teachers weighing the pros and cons of this film for teen viewers will want to be aware of the violent scenes, which are not graphic, but which might alarm kids who already fear school shooters. And they will note the three dozen profanities, including twelve sexual expletives.
Negative content aside, Parkland Rising delivers a stirring look at the ability of a small group of people to change a country’s conversation and eventually its laws. This could well motivate teens and is worth watching for adults trying to get a glimpse of the future of American politics. After all, as Hogg points out, “The young people will always win.”Directed by Cheryl Horner. Starring David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, Ally Sheehy, Manuel Oliver. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release June 5, 2020. Updated August 31, 2020
Watch the trailer for Parkland Rising
Rating & Content Info
Why is Parkland Rising rated Not Rated? Parkland Rising is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: Cell phone camera footage taken during a school shooting is seen. Gunshots are heard. 911 calls from school shootings are heard. Teens scream as the shooter goes through their school. Students talk about school shootings. A teenager receives death threats; his father talks about watching the hands of people around him for guns or knives. A man shoots targets with a teenager’s face on them.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: There are approximately three dozen profanities, including one dozen sexual expletives, thirteen scatological curses, five terms of deity and a handful of anatomical terms, moderate curse words, and crude terms. A sexual expletive in which letters have been replaced with asterisks is seen on several occasions and a written scatological term is also seen in writing on a couple of occasions.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult mentions that she “needs a drink”: alcohol is implied but not specified. An adult is briefly seen smoking a cigarette.
Page last updated August 31, 2020
Parkland Rising Parents' Guide
For more information about the gun control advocacy groups started by people in this movie, check out these links:
Gun control measures are steadily resisted by the National Rifle Association. To understand why they are so successful, read these articles:
The Guardian: Why is the National Rifle Association So Powerful?
National Rifle Association: A Brief History of the NRA
The USA’s debate over gun control is distinct amongst other developed nations. Do you think gun control legislation is necessary? Why or why not? If yes, what kind of gun control do you think would be effective? For arguments about gun control, statistics about gun crime in the US, gun control efforts, and global comparisons, try these links:
ProCon.Org: Gun Control
BBC News: America’s gun culture in charts
Council on Foreign Relations: US Gun Policy: Global Comparisons
Although children do get shot in school in other countries, widespread school shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. Why do you think this is such a problem in the USA? What do you think should be done to keep kids safe at school?
Infoplease: Timeline of Worldwide School and Mass Shootings
Loved this movie? Try these books…
New York Times author Dave Cullen tells the story of Parkland survivors and their political activism in Parkland: Birth of a Movement.
Andrew Pollack’s daughter, Meadow, died in the Stoneman Douglas story. Working with writer Max Eden, Pollack has written Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students.
Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories, edited by Sarah Lerner, contains poems, letters, accounts, journal entries, drawings, from the teen survivors of the shooting. More first person accounts from school shootings are found in Amye Archer and Loren Kleinman’s If I Don’t Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of Schol Shootings.
The most recent home video release of Parkland Rising movie is June 11, 2020. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
It’s possible for one person or a group of dedicated people to change the world. Films about people with a cause include the following:
In Amazing Grace, William Wilberforce devoted his life to leading the crusade that would end the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807.
Outraged by partisan electoral maps in her home state, a young woman soon finds herself campaigning for a ballot initiative to end gerrymandering in Slay the Dragon.
A Vietnam vet is appalled by the discrimination he faces when he comes home with impaired hearing. But his challenges pale against the prejudice encountered by his severely disabled friend. The two unite to advocate for the rights of the disabled in Music Within. A summer camp for disabled teens becomes a seedbed for political activism in Netflix's Crip Camp.
A young lawyer with personal experience of sexual discrimination goes to court to overturn laws that protect the practice. This biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is told in On the Basis of Sex. Women battle for the right to vote in Suffragette, which is set in the turbulent years of pre-war England.