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Hard to watch, but absolutely compelling throughout, this documentary paid sober homage to the survivors of the Dunblane massacre, as well as giving a voice to the relatives of those who died.
In a nutshell
It was 20 years ago that a deep wound was inflicted on the psyche of the nation. A loner named Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school in Scotland and opened fire on a class of defenceless children, slaughtering 16 kids along with their teacher before taking his own life. The horror was emblazoned across newspapers and throughout TV news reports – the nation was shellshocked. But, as this documentary reminded us, the abstract pain of the country was nothing compared to the grief of those directly connected with Dunblane.
It’s hard to say which part of this programme was the most heartbreaking. Perhaps the testimony of the headmaster, Ron Taylor, who was one of the first on the scene and entered a hellish universe of cordite and dead children? “Unimaginably horrible,” was his summing up of what he saw. Just as unbearable were the stories of the relatives – one mother talked about how the police were literally unable to bring themselves to say her daughter was dead, while two women talked about the siblings who died in the massacre, and what it was like to grow up without knowing them.
What's the verdict?
To many of us it feels like only yesterday that we heard news of what happened at Dunblane. But this was confirmation, if confirmation was even needed, that it’s every bit as raw for the people of Dunblane as it ever was.