by Bambi Weavil
The Brandon Teena Story
10 Year Anniversary Collector’s Edition
on DVD from Docurama Films
The crime against Brandon Teena occurred on December 30, 1993, in rural Nebraska against Brandon Teena, 21, Lisa Lambert, 24, and Philip Devine, 22. They were having a quiet night and went to sleep at Lisa’s home, but unfortunately, a few hours later, they were brutally murdered by two intruders kicking through the front door, and executed with gun fire and stabbed, left in a pool of their own blood. Lisa was also a mother of a young child, Tanner, who was left wailing in his crib, as the killers left.
The brutality against the victims were personal, and later on the same day, Thomas Nissen, 21, and John Lotter, 22, residents of Fall City, were arrested for their murders. Seeing them speak to the filmmakers, Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir, really personified the men who did this absolutely senseless, hateful and brutal crime against them. But it didn’t start there, because they didn’t understand Brandon as she was transitioning into a he, as well as being threatened by him in his relationship with Lana, they brutally raped and beat him.
Hearing Brandon’s voice being grilled by the local Sheriff ripped me open emotionally to listen to, as he in my opinion, did nothing to protect Brandon as a victim of being violated and abused by two men.
This documentary was well done, with interviews with the main characters, Brandon’s girlfriend, Lana, as well as other women he dated, and members of their respected families. The documentary really captures Brandon as a person who was trying to figure out who he was and to be accepted by people he cared about, and it’s easy to understand how Brandon’s story inspired Boys Don’t Cry.
In this collector’s edition of The Brandon Teena Story, the filmmakers give a new interview, as well as show never-before-seen footage, in this must-see documentary about the prejudice, hatred and homophobia in America’s heartland in the early-90s.
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