Earlier this week, I got free tickets from a family friend to Gun Hill Road. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered Eccles Theater to see Gun Hill Road; but I left amazed and inspired. It was a film about a homophobic man who comes back from three years in prison, to find his son is a transgender, currently transitioning into a girl. There are other conflicts including with Enrique’s parole officers, marital infidelity, and Bronx street violence.
The part of the film that spoke to me the most was the actual story of it all. It was the first film I have seen that has included all taboo aspects in a respectful but emotional manner. The story was perfectly timed with the real life transgender transition of the main actor, Harmony. During the Q&A, one of the cast members stated they chose to sign onto this script because it was “dripping with humanity.” I liked that the story didn’t actually end, per say, but the whole part of this story was that it was not over. That said, when the credits rolled, the theater was filled with hope, tears, and many responses for the cast.
This is an ongoing story for America that needs to be highlighted and talked about in our society. That said, I don’t think it will be able to be widely distributed in American theaters. It is all just too much to take in for the normal Hollywood loving audiences. It would have to be heavily edited a lot for the ratings, since it is pretty graphic in both violent and sexual manners. I can see this film, well hopefully winning the Sundance Audience award and the US Dramatic competition award, but also being used in educational and conversation settings. I can easily imagine a professor of gender studies class at Elon screening this film for students to spark debate and conversation. Hopefully, for the cast and crew, this film will be distributed somewhere to receive the credit it deserves.