On New Year's Eve 1993, 21-year-old Brandon Teena and two friends were found shot and stabbed to death in an isolated Nebraska farmhouse. A week earlier, Brandon had filed a report with the Falls City police department: He spent Christmas Eve being raped
and beaten in the back seat of a car by two local men. He identified the rapists, who were left free to hunt Brandon down and kill him to forestall further testimony that might have sent them both to jail. It's a horrifying story by any standard, but what grabbed the nation's attention was not the
brutality of the crimes, but the unusual circumstances of the victim's life: Brandon Teena was born Teena Brandon, a restless young woman who had been living her life as a man, leaving a trail of bad checks and unsuspecting girlfriends as he moved from one town to another. In this straightforward
and thought-provoking documentary, filmmakers Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir retrace Brandon's short life and savage death: a dangerous life that dared to question sexuality and gender, and a death that revealed a culture seized by a deadly combination of sexual panic, homophobia and misogyny.
Much can and will be said about what this sorry incident has to say about ourselves, but Muska and Olafsdottir show admirable restraint. Without offering the usual expert analysis or drawing conclusions of their own (they even dispense with the standard voice-over narration), the filmmakers
interview Brandon's friends, relatives, lovers and murderers and let the damning facts speak for themselves.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: NR
- Review: On New Year's Eve 1993, 21-year-old Brandon Teena and two friends were found shot and stabbed to death in an isolated Nebraska farmhouse. A week earlier, Brandon had filed a report with the Falls City police department: He spent Christmas Eve being raped… (more)