We’re all appalled and frustrated at the frequent school shootings in America. We feel helpless to do anything about it, and we despair of understanding. This modest, assured debut feature by writer/director Fran Kranz, however, may be a good place to start.

The parents of a school shooter and those of one of his victims agree to sit down together in an effort to gain some sort of understanding and move forward.  It takes place entirely in a bare, auxiliary church space. There are no cinematic tricks or embellishments, just sharp, believable dialogue and great acting. 

Jason Isaacs, Reed Birney, Ann Dowd and Martha Plimpton put in such committed, nuanced and honest performances that you forget it’s a movie, and that’s the highest praise a picture can get.

It’s a tough but cathartic sit, and by the end one feels strangely nourished and cleansed.  (111 min)