1:36 (2013) – By Misty Layne

1:36 is a film about the life and legacy of Aaron Pennywell who was killed June 25, 2011 at the age of 20, after a drunk driver struck his vehicle. Aaron was a loved son, brother and friend, and has been greatly missed since that summer night only a year-and-a-half ago. 1:36 aims to expose the aftermath of such a tragedy and the effect it has had on an entire community in hopes of decreasing drinking and driving accidents.

1:36, a short yet powerful documentary by Caten Hyde, one of Aaron’s friends, is a testament to his life and the powerful damage that drinking and driving can cause.

This documentary follows in the same vein, cinematographically, as other documentaries such as AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, in that it’s composed not just of narration but also interviews with various people and still photos of Aaron as he grows up. It starts with the date Aaron was born and continues with photos of his childhood intercut by interviews with his parents and younger brother who remember him fondly. From there the tale moves into the night that Aaron was killed, with his parents each telling where they were when they learned what had happened interspersed with 911 tapes from the night of the accident. Someone had already called 911 to report that Michael Giacona was driving drunken – it’s chilling to hear her crying hysterically to the 911 operator that he’s bound to kill someone. (Michael Giacona declined to take part in this documentary.)

The story isn’t entirely without hope though. Aaron’s parents set up a non-profit dedicated to stopping drunk drivers and his story has been told throughout the country. It’s clear that though they miss him dreadfully they are doing everything in their power to stop another tragic accident like this from happening to anyone else.

To learn more about 1:36 and the Pennywell family, you can watch the trailer here. This documentary could easily become a powerful learning tool to be used in high schools around the country to dissuade teenagers from drinking and driving. It’s also a powerful reminder that even in the midst of tragedy, good can be found. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXF6n2xteQ0