USA (89 mins, dir. Marta Cunningham)
Key Themes: Transphobia, homophobia, identity, school violence, perception, death
Suitable Year Levels: Senior secondary +
“[A] stirring pro-tolerance documentary.” – Hollywood Reporter
“He was solving a problem.” That’s how one juror describes the actions of Brandon McInerney, a 14-year-old from Oxnard, California, who shot and killed his cross-dressing classmate Lawrence King. Serving a 21-year sentence for second degree murder, Brandon has been cast as both monster and victim, but the truth of the matter is far more complex – and uncomfortable.
In the timely Valentine Road, first-time filmmaker Marta Cunningham unpicks the story of a peculiarly American tragedy. Winning the trust of a town in mourning, Cunningham weaves a clear-eyed, challenging and impassioned portrait of middle American collapse and the often tragic consequences of everyday intolerance.
11am Friday 2 August at ACMI