Winner of the Palme d'Or and Best Director prizes at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Gus Van Sant's (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester) realistic drama Elephant takes us inside an American high school on one single, ordinary day that very rapidly turns tragic. The story unfolds with class work, football, gossip and socializing. It observes the comings and goings of its characters from a safe distance, allowing us to see them as they are. With each student we see high school through a different experience, a new lens. These experiences range from friendly and innocent to traumatic and deeply disturbing.
Elephant demonstrates that high school life is a complex landscape where the vitality and beauty of young lives can shift from light to darkness with surreal speed. It's an ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.