A Girl And A Gun (2013)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/6/13
Director: Cathryne Czubek

An intimate look into the lives of several women and their relationships with guns and the gun community. Some are victims of violence, others have lost loved ones to guns, some are hobbyists and sport shooters, while others are professionals and military personnel. Each has their own story, but everything ultimately boils down to fear and empowerment. There is also some brief, but very enlightening history on women with guns, and how the culture of armed women has changed since the pioneer days of the 1800's. What I found most fascinating is that women with firearms was quite popular and fashionable up though the 1920's until the Great Depression, when President Hoover incredulously blamed increasing crime on women, for failing to raise their children properly. Female empowerment through firepower came back into vogue after World War II, and was especially popular throughout the 1960's and 1970's. While the interviews and personal stories are interesting and quite moving, I was more taken by the academic segments.

The production is well filmed and competently edited, and has a nice, if not slightly intrusive soundtrack. It features numerous clips, stills, and ads from popular movies, along with the obligatory shots from Lenny Magill's notorious "Rock And Roll 3" (1987). The film's biggest weakness is that it's completely random and has no agenda or logical flow. It's just a bunch of clips thrown together under various vague headings. Thankfully, it steers clear of politics, propaganda, and weepy sentimentality, and isn't trying to sell a message or a particular point of view. However, it lacks a unifying voice of its own, and I would have appreciated a bit more structure.