The Armor of Light

It’s not easy to bring fresh light to the polarized debate on guns. But in her breathtaking directorial debut, Abigail Disney takes viewers far above the tired talking points of the NRA. Disney has serious film pedigree: Her grandfather Roy co-founded Disney Studios with his brother Walt. Her documentary is so riveting, some scenes feel straight out of a fiction film. Evangelical minister Schenck is familiar with challenging the status quo: He was raised Jewish, then became an evangelical as a teenager. He rose to prominence in the 1990s as a militant pro-life activist. But troubling encounters with gun violence forced him to ask whether a pro-life position could be consistent with pro-gun. Disney follows him as he explores these questions at gun shows and ministers with stand-your-ground opponents. He eventually teams with Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager murdered in Florida whose case has become a landmark in the fight against stand-your-ground laws. His new supporters surprise him as much as the vitriol of his old friends. It isn’t an overreach when Schenck notes parallels between increasing pro-gun extremism, rising gun violence and the Holocaust. As his father once told him, pointing to pictures of the camps, “This is what happens when good people say nothing.” —Emily Kaiser Thelin
Release Year
Festival Year(s)
Running Time