Christoph Draeger
2011, 10:30 min
Day 2, Screening 6
17 Dec 2018, 00:15

Elephant (2003) is a narrative film by Gus Van Sant about the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. While teaching a video class at The European University in Madrid (UEM), Christoph Draeger proposed to the students to use their campus (which bears a uncanny resemblance to the one in Columbine) for a remake of the final ten minutes of the film. The students were playing all the roles of the Columbine students in Spanish, Draeger directed and handled the camera. This meant that he himself slipped into a role, the one of director Gus Van Sant. The European Deluxe DVD edition of the original movie included an interview from 2003 with Gus Van Sant at his home, in which he was analyzing the movie in relation to the phenomena of school massacres and the motives of the killers, among other subjects. He speaks in a comprehensive and personal way, with a lot of empathy for his subjects. Draeger decided to combine this interview with the re-enacted film, in order to create an emotional distance to the narrative. The interview with Van Sant in Elefante appears as voice-over, like the narrator's voice.