Description of Film:
Kimberly Pierce (Silent Star) directed
and co-wrote this poignant and disturbing tale
that is based on events in the real life of
Brandon Teena/Teena Brandon. Teena Brandon
was a young woman from Lincoln, Nebraska who
wanted desperately to live life as a man.
She wrapped her breasts, cut her hair, and assumed
the name of Brandon Teena. Brandon was
so convincing that people believed she actually
was a man. Brandon, who is played by Hilary
Swank, (Million Dollar Baby), fell
in love with a woman named Lana Tisdel, played
by Chloe Sevigny (Melinda and Melinda),
who lived in a small town in Nebraska.
Brandon’s life was going fine; he had
even made two male friends: John Lotter (Peter
Sarsgaard, Garden State) and Tom Nissen
(Brendan Sexton III, This Revolution).
Of course, the reason that everything was going
so well was because Brandon had decided to conceal
his true identity. When the others make
this discovery, everything goes awry.
Lotter and Nissen are bent on ridiculing and
degrading Brandon and divulging his secret.
They even pull his pants down and expose him
to Lana. After this, Lotter and Nissen
take Teena to a remote location and rape him
repeatedly. They later hunt Brandon down
again and murder him and two other bystanders.
Lotter and Nissen are then convicted of murder
and sentenced to the death penalty.
This movie is very graphic and is rated R for
violence, nudity, rape, drug use and language.
Boys Don’t Cry was nominated
for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting
Actress (Chloe Sevigny) and Best Actress (Hilary
Swank). Swank won the award for Best Actress.
Why I Recommend This Film:
This movie was excellently made. The performances
are all outstanding, especially Swank’s.
She offers an amazing portrayal of an exceedingly
difficult character, that of a transgendered
person who is confused and constantly concealing
a secret that could, and did, eventually end
Why This is Important:
This movie is important because it shows how
truly devastating ignorance can be. Lotter
and Nissen were so ignorant and so afraid of
the unknown that they raped and killed people
because of it. They exhibit homophobia
in its most terrifying form. This movie
also portrays a true story. It pays homage
to the life of Teena Brandon/Brandon Teena,
his family, and his supporters.
It does an excellent job of accomplishing this
Favorite Quotation: (These
are Brandon’s last lines in the movie.
They are shared with the audience in the form
of a letter that he sent to Lana when he thought
he was going to be going home to Lincoln.)
"Dear Lana, By the time you read this
I'll be back home in Lincoln. I'm scared of
what's ahead, but when I think of you, I know
I'll be able to go on. You were right, Memphis
isn't that far off. I'll be taking that
trip down the highway before too long. I'll
be waiting for you. Love always and forever,