Thursday, February 1, 2018

49 Pulses Trailer Screening

Charlie Minn came to Orlando shortly after the Pulse Nightclub shootings and filmed 20 interviews with survivors and first responders. His documentary film, "49 Pulses" is opening this week in Orlando. Much of the film gives voice to the survivors who recount what happened that night. The Orlando Public Library had a screening of the short trailer which had actors recreating scenes from inside the club that night. Minn is familiar with the community backlash here in Orlando when Miami based Telemundo released a film that reenacted what happened in the club. Survivors and families of victims were re-traumatized by the tasteless film. Minn justified his similar footage by saying the actors did an amazing job, and by pointing out that the gunman's name is never mentioned in the film. Orlando Torres and officer Omar Delgado said that they decided to add their voices to the project for that reason.

Orlando Torres survived that night by hiding in a bathroom stall perched on top of a toilet so the gunman could not see his feet. At one point someone who had been shot crawled under the bathroom stall and knocked Orlando to the floor in the struggle to survive. Orlando decided to stay still as if he were dead. Orlando heard the gunman pledge allegiance to ISIS and heard his cat and mouse game with police on the phone. The gunman insisted that everyone turn off their phones, but he wasn't aware of Orlando's presence in the next stall. Orlando kept his phone on, to record audio of what was happening. Someone concerned for his safety called and he was terrified that he might die because of their concern and the noise of the call. The gunman at one point touched his back pocket, but then lost interest and used the sink.

Omar Delgado, from Eatonville,  was one of the first officers on the scene. When he arrived there were just two other officers. His radio couldn't be tuned in to the same channel, so he was cut off from the dispatcher. As the evening progressed, more officers came to the scene and it became more and more of a war zone. Delgado entered the club and saved Angel Colon who had been shot several times. After June 12, 2016, Delgado said he returned to patrol duty for a few months after the massacre that left 49 dead and at least 68 injured, but he had to stop. He still doesn’t like going to restaurants and bars. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and was dismissed from Eatonville’s Police Department in December of 2016. Had the officer cut himself at the shooting scene he would have been given medial coverage, but since he suffers from mental trauma, he has no coverage.

Film maker Charlie Minn seemed particularly annoyed about the fact that Chief John Mina refused to grant him an interview for the film. It seems like the film's primary focus is pointing out that it took police 3 hours to end the stand-off with the gunman. His anger flared for a moment during the saccharine sweet interview on the Orlando Library stage. He was quick to point blame without spending the time to hear all the stories. He splits his time between El Paso Texas and New York City. He entered Orlando shortly after the tragedy intent on profiting from the Pulse shooting. Like the media, he was on to the next horrific story after only a brief look at how that night affected our community with little understanding of all the details.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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