Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank) moves to a small Nebraska town. He is a teenage female-to-male non-operative transgender man. When Brandon is discovered to be anatomically female by the brother of a woman he dated, he becomes the target of physical threats.
He moves to Falls City, Nebraska where he cultivates friendships with ex-convicts John Lotter (Peter Sarsgaard) and Tom Nissen (Brendan Sexton III), and their friends Candace (Alicia Goranson) and Lana Tisdel (Chloë Sevigny). Brandon becomes romantically involved with Lana, who is unaware of his biological sex.They fantasize about moving to Memphis, where Brandon will manage Lana in a karaoke career.
Tom and John become suspicious about Brandon after they read a newspaper article about Brandon that refers to him by his birth name, Teena Brandon. Tom and John then force Brandon to remove his pants, revealing his genitals.
They try to force Lana to look, but she shields her eyes and turns away. Tom and John chase Brandon to an isolated location, where they beat and violently rape him. Lana convinces Brandon to file a police report at which point Tom and John seek retaliation.
Director: Kimberly Peirce
Year of Release: 1999
Character to watch: Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?