"A superb documentary, that looks past the partisan abstractions of the 'gun rights' debate to show how different cultural communities understand and use firearms. What sets it apart is the way in which it invites each community to speak for itself, and gives each a respectful hearing. It should be a model for public discourse."
— Dr. Richard Slotkin, Wesleyan University, Olin Professor of English and American Studies
"Critics have long held that the gun was a phallic symbol, the symbol of an aggressive potent virility. But the film shows it is much more than that: it is an extension of our selves, a magic wand that restores all that masculinity that has been lost to the forces of modern society."
— Dr. Michael Kimmel, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies / Executive Director, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities
"In addition to providing an excellent data-driven analysis of gun violence in the United States, American Totem also offers a visually rich look at the ways Hollywod and the gun industry have inculcated a narrative that romanticizes gun use and killing by the 'good guys'...Thought provoking without being biased."
— Robert Speer, Newsreview.com
California State University, Chico
Maryland Institute College of Art