Frameline screening on Wednesday evening. The music was thumping & the atmosphere happy.
ACLU told the Frameline audience to "Celebrate & then get back to work!" Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, came on stage with her family & similarly exhorted us.
Valentine Road, a documentary about the murder in February 2008 of 15-year-old Larry King in Oxnard, CA by his high school classmate, Brandon McInerney. Larry was a small, effeminate boy who had just started wearing women's accessories to school. He teased McInerney by asking him to be his Valentine, & a day later McInerney shot him during class. The documentary is multilayered & unfolds at a thoughtful pace, gradually uncovering the abusive home lives of both boys & the impact of the murder on the community. The film treats its subjects respectfully, even though there are some disappointing characters. The audience yelled at the screen when interviewees averred that Larry's behavior & dress actually instigated the crime. Everyone gasped when the film revealed the owner of a "Save Brandon" tattoo.
Marta Cunningham was in attendance & received a standing ovation. She told us how gratified she was to present the film at Frameline. During the Q&A we learned that she decided not to involve Brandon McInerney. Since Brandon took Larry's voice, she did not want to give Brandon a voice. She characterized Brandon's defense attorneys as "zealots." I got the impression that Ms. Cunningham is a persistent & canny filmmaker.
§ Valentine Road
Director: Marta Cunningham
USA, 2012, 88 Mins.
Wednesday, June 26, 7:00 PM