This documentary teases out the clash in community values underpinning the schoolroom shooting of a gay junior high student in California by a fellow student. Was it murder, a hate crime or justifiable self-defence?
Screened as part of NZIFF 2013
This documentary teases out the clash in community values underpinning the schoolroom shooting of a junior high student in California by a classmate. Was it murder, a hate crime or justifiable self-defence? “First-time filmmaker Marta Cunningham’s remarkable Valentine Road focuses on the headline-grabbing 2008 case of 15-year-old Lawrence ‘Larry’ King, the openly gay junior high student shot and killed by 14-year-old classmate Brandon McInerney… Spending three years on the ground in the racially and economically diverse SoCal bedroom community, Cunningham gained extraordinary access to parties and partisans on all sides, including McInerney’s family, attorneys for the defense and prosecution, the LGBT activists who quickly mobilized into action, and the surprisingly robust constituency (including more than a few teachers and other authority figures) who rally behind McInerney as the real victim here. The result is… an unforgettable, troubling close-up of small-town America at a moral and ethical crossroads.” — Scott Foundas, Village Voice