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Valentine Road


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School Bd/College/University DVD: $395


 

Grade Level: JrH-Adult
Producer: Bullfrog Films
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 88 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: Yes

Copyright Date: 2013
Available in French: No

On February 12, 2008, in an Oxnard, California, classroom, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King twice; Larry died of the wounds two days later. Larry (Leticia), a gender-variant youth of color, had liked to wear makeup and heels to school, and had publicly announced a crush on McInerney. For this reason, some of McInerney's defenders say the victim had "embarrassed" the shooter--and was therefore at least partly to blame for his own murder.
 
VALENTINE ROAD is about an outrageous crime and an even more outrageous defense of it, but the film goes much deeper than mere outrage. In the end, it's the story of two victims of homophobia. Larry was killed because of it, but Brandon's life was horribly twisted by it as well. And it's the story of a community's response--sometimes inspirational and sometimes cruel--to a terrible tragedy.
 
Filmmaker Marta Cunningham deftly looks beyond the sensational aspects of the murder, introducing us to Larry's friends, teachers and guardians, as well as Brandon's loved ones--both children had led difficult lives. In examining Brandon's prosecution and defense, the documentary poses difficult questions about punishing juveniles for serious crimes, while exposing society's pervasive and deadly intolerance of young people who don't conform to its gender "norms."
 
VALENTINE ROAD brilliantly focuses on how bigotry and prejudice are community-wide problems, rather than only the acts of individuals. It asks how schools can respond to the the full complexity of students' lives, and support students in crisis before tragedy strikes.
 
"This is an invaluable resource. I was riveted all the way through. Valentine Road is filmed almost without commentary, but instead allows the many people involved in and touched by this tragedy to speak for themselves and trusts those viewing the film to think deeply for themselves. The complexities of these issues are never reduced to easy answers, but a strong moral vision runs through the film. I wish every classroom in America could view and discuss Valentine Road."
- Ellen Bass, MFA Faculty, Pacific University,
Author of Free Your mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth and their Allies

NOTE:  There are two versions of this program on the same DVD: the original 88-minute theatrical version and a 54-minute classroom version.


Awards:
Outstanding Documentary, Frameline Film Festival
Best Documentary, Berkshire International Film Festival
Audience Award, NewFest, NYC
First Time Director Award (Documentary), Philadelphia QFest
Best Documentary, Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Documentary, Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival
Best Documentary, TLVFest
Best Documentary, Side by Side LGBT nternational Film Festival
Best Documentary, Gaze International LGBT Film Festival
Best Documentary, Madrid Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Best Documentary, Out on Film

Screened at:

Sundance Film Festival
HotDocs International Documentary Film Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Miami Internaional Film Festival
Ashland Independent Film Festival
New Zealand International Film Festival
Durban International Film Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival



Links:
valentineroaddocumentary.com/


www.glsen.org/ - The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network



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