Filmmaker hopes documentary will be 'tool for change' on addressing gun violence

Filmmaker Davy Rothbart told Hill.TV during an interview on “Rising” that he hopes his latest documentary about a struggling family in Washington, D.C. will become a “tool for change” when it comes to addressing gun violence across the country.

“Their family has been touched by gun violence,” Rothbart said on Thursday, referring to the family featured in the film.

“One of their family members was killed in a shooting here in D.C. 10 years ago, so the family and I hope by sharing their story, the film could be a tool for change,” he continued.

Rothbart's film, “17 Blocks,” chronicles the life of a young boy and his family who live just 17 blocks away from the nation’s capital over the course of two decades as they struggle with drug addiction, poverty and gun violence. It is one of the films being featured as part of the American Film Institute’s documentary film festival in D.C. this week.

Rothbart said the most thrilling part of the documentary's screening in D.C. is that the family's story could potentially "make a difference," and inspire lawmakers to do something about the rise of gun violence in the U.S. 

"No kid should have to live surrounded by danger," he told Hill.TV. 

According to research by Everytown for Gun Safety, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and wounded each day. The nonprofit advocacy group also estimates that approximately three million American children witness gun violence every year.

—Tess Bonn