Documentary about Brandon Teena (aka Teena Brandon), a transgendered person, who was murdered along with two others in 1993 in rural Nebraska. The story is told through interviews with people who knew Brandon, recorded interrogation and trial transcripts, and photographs and file film footage. Written by
Michael C. Berch <email@example.com>
unbelievability toward the ignorance of the average American
_The Brandon Teena Story_ is a shocker. I, a travelled New Yorker, sat in the theater slack-jawed at how narrow minded and ignorant people of my own country (and therefore of my own "culture," presumably) could be. The true story, which takes place in Nebraska, USA, is of a person, born a girl, who lives her life as a boy. People, even girlfriends, believe in her sexuality; however, she is eventually exposed, raped, and then murdered (along with 2 other people who happened to be with her that night). The documentary focuses on her friends and girlfriends, as well as her killers and the people who knew her in Nebraska. There is a general sense of disapproval and confusion, as well as love and acceptance from those who knew her well.
Maybe it's my more globally-minded perception, but I simply cannot imagine committing a hate-crime towards a person who is different, a person I simply don't understand. I cannot fathom denying that person's right to live as a human being. I immediately judge those people in that part of the country as ignorant and bigoted. But I do this without giving them a chance, just like they didn't give Brandon one. Is it right to impose my values onto them, just as they did theirs to Brandon? It may not be "right" but I choose to do it anyhow, just as they chose to judge Brandon. Or ... is it the same? What the movie does is challenge the morals and values of the world outside the society in which Brandon lived. I believe that if I had seen the movie in Fall City Nebraska, I would not have heard the gasps in the audience throughout the film. I would have been appalled, but the rest of the audience would have identified with the people on the screen. Do I have to live with that "ignorance" in my own country? To them, I may seem like the "ignorant" one, the "liberal without VALUES." I, of course, see it in the opposite light. But this will not soon be reconciled. The closest thing we can get to is understanding, and we reach understanding through exposure, through sources such as _The Brandon Teena Story_.
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