HBO Documentary Preview: Valentine Road [VIDEO]
This is an important documentary. So many kids (and adults) feel like they don’t belong in today’s society. There are so many reasons to feel left out, a few being the color of your skin, or your religious beliefs, or your sexuality. In Valentine Road, two junior high school students – Larry and Brandon -Â are at the center of what could become a national debate. Both come from troubled homes and both were exploring their ideologies – Larry, Â a gender identity and Brandon, a racial identity. Students at their school describe a schoolyard Valentineâ€™s Day game in which students profess their romantic feelings for a classmate. During that game Larry asked Brandon to be his valentine and the very next day Brandon shot Larry. Students, administrators, parents and members of the legal community have a wide range of opinions on gender identity and punishment in our legal system. But a few larger questions remain:
- Is there a right way to allow a child to explore their sexuality or gender identity?
- Should a teenager accused of even the most violent of crimes be given a chance for juvenile rehabilitation?
Feb. 12, 2008, started like any other day at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, a California beach town northwest of LosÂ Angeles. Eighth-grade students filed into computer lab to do an assignment on the topic of tolerance. But before the class was over,Â 15-year-old Lawrence “Larry” King lay fighting for his life, shot twice in the back of the head at point-blank range by classmateÂ Brandon McInerney. Two days later, on Valentine’s Day, Larry died, the victim of a crime that grabbed national headlines andÂ dramatically changed the lives of the students, teachers and community.
Valentine RoadÂ explores the murder of a teenager who had begun exploring his gender identity, revealing the circumstancesÂ that led to the shocking crime, as well as its complicated aftermath. Directed and produced by first-time filmmaker MartaÂ Cunningham and shepherded by award-winning producers Sasha Alpert (HBO’s Autism: The Musical) and Eddie Schmidt (HBO’s Twist of Faith), the film raises issues about the safety of LGBT teens, juvenile justice and the ability of the country’s educationalÂ and social service systems to prevent such tragedies. Valentine RoadÂ debuts Monday, Oct. 7th at 9/8c,Â exclusively on HBO, during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Â Valentine Road Trailer:
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For more information, visit:
Twitter: @HBODocs #ValentineRoad
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