Valentine Road is the new HBO Documentary about the shooting of gay student Lawrence “Larry” King by classmate Brandon McInerney in their Oxnard, California school. Though there was child abuse and white supremacy informing the horrible attack, the community came to support the accused murderer and vilify the “deviant” victim. We discuss the film and the issues of hate, youth, gender and empathy that created such an incredible story on this BYOD interview with director Marta Cunningham.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
Marta Cunningham is a first time filmmaker and accomplished actress, dancer and choreographer. A native of Northern California, she was so moved by the story of Larry’s murder that she became embedded in Oxnard and soon began filming those whose lives were touched by the tragedy. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win many awards including best documentary at Miami and San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals. Marta also won honors as a first time filmmaker and first time documentary filmmaker at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
00:21 Introducing Valentine Road and Marta Cunningham.
02:40 Child abuse, gender identity, and the story that demanded a documentary.
05:14 Investigation of child care and focusing on the children.
07:06 Valentine Road, Trailer.
08:02 Valentine Road, Clip: The morning of the shooting.
09:20 The events that led to the murder and the police reaction.
10:46 The school responds to the shooting.
13:00 Gender roles, costs of self-expression and femininity.
15:08 The defense attorney arguments for Brandon McInerney.
17:58 Costs of rehabilitation and incarceration.
18:25 Valentine Road, clip: Defense attorney.
19:50 Valentine Road, clip: Attorney interview.
21:00 Coming to be an advocate for Lawrence “Larry” King.
23:02 The McInerney family history of violence.
25:00 Understanding the larger social issue.
26:45 A jury of women act for the defense of the accused murderer.
31:41 Shooting in Oxnard after the event and time spent waiting for the wheels of justice.
32:40 Brandon’s girlfriend and support from the community.
35:45 Race and homophobia and what makes news.
37:30 Seeing the film on HBO.
38:32 Making films and the community of doc makers.
40:00 Working on LGBT teen films.
42:49 Hunger and children and different effects of abuse.
45:22 Thanks and Goodbye!