The worlds of a former neo-Nazi and the gay victim of his senseless hate crime attack collide by chance 25 years after the incident that dramatically shaped both of their lives. They ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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The worlds of a former neo-Nazi and the gay victim of his senseless hate crime attack collide by chance 25 years after the incident that dramatically shaped both of their lives. They proceed to embark on a journey of forgiveness that challenges both to grapple with their beliefs and fears, eventually leading to an improbable collaboration...and friendship. Written by Anonymous

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13 July 2013 (USA)  »

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Edited into The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Documentary (2014) See more »

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Oxygen Garden
Written and performed by Chris Zabriskie
Published by You've Been a Wonderful Laugh Track (ASCAP)
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If I were a gambling man (and I'm not), I'd bet on this one winning.
1 February 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Today I made my annual pilgrimage to the local theater to see all the Oscar-nominated Documentary Shorts. My good friend came with me and force once we were in agreement as to which shorts were strongest and weakest--which is a little unusual.

This film is pretty straight-forward in style and direction. It's the story of a young homeless gay man who is beaten nearly to death by a gang of thug skinheads. Years later, when the beaten man begins working for a center stressing tolerance, he meets up with an ex-skinhead who also works there to try to keep young people from following in his angry teenage steps. Interestingly, it turned out that this reformed punk was one of the men that nearly killed the gay teen years earlier! Their working through this together, redemption and learning to forgive and understand it the theme of this film.

I think "Facing Fear" would have been a great film had it come out in the 1980s (and probably would have deserved the Oscar). After all, folks had much more negative feelings towards homosexuals then and films were still hesitant to discuss this bigotry. However, in 2013, this is NOT so brave or groundbreaking--it's rather fashionable in some ways. However, the film still is interesting and worth seeing. I liked the film and recommend you see it--and I assume it's the odds-on favorite the award despite being pretty ordinary simply because this is the sort of topic that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences seems to like based on past nominees and awards. This isn't meant to be ant-anything on my part--just an observation. Is it the best of the films? No--it's probably 3rd or 4th best. But it is good and should be seen. Just understand that it lacks the emotional punch and risk of some of the other nominees, such as "Karama Has No Walls", or the professional look and artistry of "The Lady in Number 6".


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