After punks at school hand him multiple savage beatings, gay teen McClain Evans, discreetly begins martial arts training with Karen O'Neil, a mysterious woman who had her own cross to bear with the prejudiced and bigoted small town community. As McClain learns to defend himself from hatred and bigotry, the student and his teacher expose several raw nerves in their rural Colorado community. Written by
I highly recommend The Sensei. I was afraid at first that it would be a cheesy Karate Kid with a gay kid as the lead, but it was so much more than that. The movie dealt with many levels of prejudice, including sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, and HIV. It was touching while sending a powerful message. The depiction of the victimization endured by the lead character was realistic and horrific. Some parts of the film weren't quite as polished and smooth as a major production movie, but it is an independent film. For anyone who has dealt with any sort of prejudice or hatred, this is a movie that will make you feel strong and hopeful. For anyone who doesn't understand what GLBT youth have endured, be it 20 years ago or today, this is a movie that will open your eyes.
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