USA, 2013, 89 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, GLBT, Social Issues
Plays in the Best of Cinema Q Film Festival - Repeats Tuesday, July 23 at 4:30pm
Digital presentation - In February 2008, a classroom shooting shattered the coastal, working-class town of Oxnard, California. As the community reeled and the national media descended, a 15-year-old lay dead and his 14-year-old attacker awaited trial for murder. Was this a hate crime, retaliation for unwanted playground flirting or something more complex?
The sensationalized tale of a young, biracial LGBT teen pushing an emerging young white supremacist to his breaking point made for great headlines and drew attention to the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens, as well as the overwhelmed educational and juvenile justice systems. But it only scratched the surface of the real story. VALENTINE ROAD picks up where the traditional media coverage left off, delving deeper to explore the entwined paths of victim Lawrence “Larry” King and his killer, Brandon McInerney. Family, friends, teachers and classmates of the two young men, as well as their attorneys, law enforcement officials, jurors and mental health professionals, discuss the aftermath of the deadly incident, the trial and its impact on the community.
Through interviews, cinéma vérité footage and the examination of details and documents leading up to and including that fateful day (later brought into trial), filmmaker Marta Cunningham unravels the multifaceted human narrative that links Larry and Brandon. Both were troubled individuals growing up in difficult homes. The film raises key questions facing schools and communities all over the country: what do you do to help kids like Brandon and Larry before violence occurs—and what do you do after you’ve failed?
DIRECTOR: Marta Cunningham
Producer: MARTA CUNNINGHAM, SASHA ALPERT, EDDIE SCHMIDT, JON MURRAY, GIL GOLDSCHEIN; SHEILA NEVINS (FOR HBO)
Editor: TCHAVADAR GEORGIEV
Cinematographer: ARLENE NELSON
Music: MICHAEL ORENDY
Official Film Website