Elephant (2003)

An ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.

Original Title : Elephant
Director : Gus Van Sant
Writer : Gus Van Sant
Genre : Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Jay Hernandez , Diane Keaton , J.T. LeRoy , Bill Robinson , Dany Wolf
Photography : Harris Savides
MPAA Rating : Rated R for disturbing violent content, language, brief sexuality and drug use - all involving teens.
IMDB ID : 0363589
Official site :
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poster for "Elephant" by Gus Van Sant (2003)
Elephant (2003) - Gus Van Sant


Alex Frost Alex
Eric Deulen Eric
John Robinson John McFarland
Elias McConnell Elias
Jordan Taylor Jordan
Carrie Finklea Carrie
Nicole George Nicole
Brittany Mountain Brittany
Alicia Miles Acadia
Kristen Hicks Michelle
Bennie Dixon Benny
Nathan Tyson Nathan
Timothy Bottoms Mr. McFarland
Matt Malloy Mr. Luce
Jason Seitz Nate
Chantelle Chriestenson Noelle
Kim Kenney Assistant Principal's Secretary
Marci Buntrock Assistant Secretary
Roman Ostrovsky Red Haired Kid
Vana O'Brien P.E. Instructor
Michael Paulsen Bully
Alfred Ono Mr. Fong
Larry Laverty Teacher
Ellis Williams GSA Teacher (as Elisa E. Williams
Elisa De La Motte Student
Marychris Mass Alex's Mom
Kathleen Mattice Student
Wolfgang Williams Punk Boy


Manipulative film made while wearing blinders. Manipulative, one-sided and not always truthful documentary on high school shootings in America.Meant to find an audience from the bottom-of-the-barrel blame-everybody-but-poor-victim-me I-see-the-glass-completely-empty group will certainly find its audience as did Michael Moore's film.As any viewer of the Jerry Springer show can tell you, you can find enough people to buy just about anything, and there is a small percentage that actually prefer looking at the world through gloom-colored glasses. Though it worked for Moore, such an unoriginal film probably won't bring much interest outside of France.Sad-sackers tend to have short attention spans and the topic has pretty much played itself out.It would have been more interesting to compare the level of violence around the world to bring things into proper perspective.It would have been nice to find out what it would be like to go to school in third-world countries, in war-torn countries, in dictator-run countries, and the dangers posed to students there and the amount of deaths that occur each year. The skill in these types of films, as is criticized with Moore's documentaries, is that the film-makers pick-and-choose the facts and wear blinders.I am reminded of a running gag on Late Night with Conan O'Brien where he shows a close-up of a picture and only after the camera pulls back completely can we see that the surrounding landscape puts everything into a completely different perspective.Such is the work of documentary film-makers who shelter us from scenes just beyond the camera that might shed sunlight onto a gloomy close-up.Unfortunately, they never pull back the camera.At least with Moore's films, his facts are so doctored, his techniques so tasteless, years from now we'll have fun laughing at his films in the same way we have fun laughing at Ed Wood.The biggest problem with ELEPHANT is not it's point of view, it is just too watered-down to really make any point at all. Time will tell if Hollywood still shares a taste in this type of film.As far me, I have much more faith in life.There are wonderful things happening in the same schools and cities documented in ELEPHANT and pity those that choose not to recognize them or make documentaries about them.Even without documentation, for the majority of us, we are happy to be apart of it and experience it first hand.
poster for "Elephant"
600 x 800
Elephant (2003) - Gus Van Sant
poster for "Elephant"
400 x 570
Elephant (2003) - Gus Van Sant