Valentine Road (2013)

Director: Marta Cunningham
USA, English

Had to have been one of the most interesting documentaries I’ve ever had a chance to watch. The film brings to new light the incident in Oxford, California. In 2008, Larry King was shot a day before Valentine’s Day by Brandon McInerney. All Larry did was ask Brandon to be his valentine.  Both of them were in 8th grade. Larry was an openly gay boy who dressed like a girl and as people say in the interviews, they believe that Brandon was embarrassed by Larry’s confession.

This film had multiple interviews from people on Larry’s side and Brandon’s side. Many of the students who were in the room are still haunted by that day. Larry’s teacher, who is one of the only adults to accept Larry as he was, was forced to leave her job and now has become a barista.  Brandon’s mother and brother spoke about Brandon. Even his girlfriend was interviewed.

Many people, jurors and teachers had very…how should I say… interesting viewpoints. Some which definitely made me angry to even watch. The students who had to remember the murder had me tearing up at the theater.

cb1336558f10ded9b1dc8fcfe9ea6153What I found so fascinating about the film, is that it had another understanding of why it happened. When I first heard of this story, I thought it was a hate crime against a gay/transgender boy, but the movie posed the possibility that was it could just as well be a crime against race. I honestly don’t know Larry’s ethnicity, but Brandon was white. Brandon’s journal had drawings for a white group. I just thought it was interesting they dug deeper into that possibility.

The whole story revolved around “Valentine”. Larry asked Brandon to be his Valentine. Larry was show two days before Valentine’s day. Brandon’s trial (I believe at least one) was held on Valentine’s Day. Larry’s cemetery is on Valentine Road

I was able to watch a showing of the film with the director present, but I couldn’t stay for her Q & A. I had so many questions!

This film touched me. So many emotions happening all at once.


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