Making a Killing

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Fri, 08/05/2016 - 10:13 -- Nick Dager

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRAEvent cinema works best when the programming is directed at groups passionate about a specific cause. In those instances the movie theatre turns into a town square where people can share thoughts and ideas about how to make their cause a reality. A case in point, the theatrical run for Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA is scheduled for August 12-18 in Los Angeles and August 19-25 in New York City.  Brave New Films, the documentary and short film production company headed by award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald, will partner with gun-violence prevention activists to turn multiple screenings during the theatrical run into opportunities to inform audiences about the issue and to organize against the forces of gun profiteering. 

Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA tells the story of how gun manufacturers and dealers, through their marketing and sales arm, the NRA, have perverted and distorted our political process for profit.

Prior to this release, MAK will have been seen at over 650 activist screenings around the country sponsored by churches, non-profit organizations, businesses, schools, and individuals who after viewing the film discuss it with the accompanying action guide in order to make an impact on this issue.  By Labor Day, the number of these activist screenings will top 1000.  

“The first step in ending the daily tragedies wrought by gun violence is making sure everyone in America knows just who is behind the laws – and lack thereof – that allow for literally anyone to get their hands on a gun and start shooting,” Greenwald said. “The National Rifle Association has always claimed that its power is with its membership but in truth, as we have seen with the reception to Making a Killing, the real power resides with the millions of Americans who want to see the carnage stop.”

Director Robert Greenwald and director of photography Kristy Tully film an interview with Debra Butler-Cureton and Jeffrey Butler in Chicago. Photo by Steven TongA non-profit group will host a screening/Q&A almost every night of the theatrical run. Partners include Amnesty International, The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, New Yorkers against Gun Violence, KPFK Radio, MWWPR’s Multi-Cultural and LGBT Practice, The Franciscan Action Network and Women Against Gun Violence.  

Making a Killing’s inescapable conclusion that the NRA is a sales and marketing division for gun companies has been widely validated.  Here are reactions to the film from people active in the effort to pass gun control measures.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT):  “Making a Killing is a powerful film that brings to light the devastating effects of gun violence and the influx of dark money and greed driving the gun industry. For too long, the NRA has had a stranglehold over Congress and has led a dangerous crusade against sensible gun reforms that could put an end to this epidemic of gun violence.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT): “Our nation continues to suffer from the unspeakable epidemic of gun violence-- from Orlando to Sandy Hook, to the streets of Chicago and Hartford. Americans are demanding Congress act on common sense, sensible prevention measures. Through this film, Americans will learn more about the scourge of gun violence in our country, and then act and advocate for change,” said

In a production meeting, clockwise from left are Robert Greenwald, Dan Young, Jason Hackman, Stephen LaRose, Tommie Tyhefe Bayliss, Emilia Larsen, and Moriah Burton. Photo by Melanie WiegmannNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio:  “This powerful film challenges us to take action against the all-to-present reality of gun violence. Every attempt to pass common sense gun control laws is fiercely opposed by the NRA and other political forces. Everyone invested in this fight should see this film.”

U.S. Representative Ted W. Lieu (CA-33):  “I am a firm believer in the power of film to educate the public about important issues facing our society. Each day in our country, 297 people are shot, including 48 children and teens. Gun deaths are now an everyday occurrence in America, and too many people have become desensitized to gun tragedies…Speaking as a father, we cannot continue to let our country be held hostage by the NRA while our children’s safety is at risk.”

Steve Latimer, New York Chapter, Amnesty International:  "The right to live in peace and safety is the most basic of all human rights. This film will get people thinking about the issue of gun violence in the United States, and how it violates the human rights of all."

Leah Gunn Barrett, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence:  "The NRA's opposition to any gun law is rooted in the myth that this is the first step to gun confiscation.  This marketing ploy was created to benefit an industry whose only goal is to sell more guns to a saturated market.  In its feverish pursuit of profits by selling more and more guns, it has re-branded military assault weapons like the Sig Sauer MCX used in Orlando and Bushmaster AR-15 used in Newtown and Aurora as ‘modern sporting rifles.’ These are weapons of war with a muzzle velocity three times the speed of sound that result in splintered bones and shredded organs.”

Making a KIlling executive producer Bill Benenson (Beasts of No Nation, The Hadza: Last of the First; Dirt! The Movie) said, “It’s very gratifying to continue to partner with such important civic-minded organizations in order to extend the film’s messaging.  Gun violence is a blight on our society and we must do everything we can to reverse the destruction it leaves in its wake.” 

Los Angeles (August 12-18; Music Hall Theatre, Beverly Hills)

Sunday, August 14:  Wesley Foundation Serving UCLA

Monday, August 15:  KPFK Radio

Tuesday, August 16: Brave New Films/Benenson Productions

Wednesday, August 17: Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Thursday, August 18: Women Against Gun Violence/Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence

New York City (August 19-25; Village East Cinemas)

Friday, August 19:  New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

Saturday, August 20:  Franciscan Action Network

Tuesday, August 23:  Brave New Films/Benenson Productions

Wednesday, August 24:  Amnesty International

Thursday, August 25:  MWWPR’s Multi-Cultural and LGBT Practice