I’ve often wondered about the families of people who kill. Perhaps it’s a strange thought (well, not if you know me and my tendency to ponder everything), but when I read about these horrible crimes committed, I think about mothers & fathers and how they must still love their child that did this, right, but it must be so hard. Siblings now defined by one family member’s choice. The families of the convicted seeing the families of the victims and what emotions must be brought up there because who do you blame? Can you blame? And how does anyone, on either side, survive?
HATE CRIME explores these questions and more as we move through the evening of one son’s (Ray) execution for the murder of another son (Kevin) – one labled as a hate crime because the victim was gay. Ray’s parents aren’t going to his execution because he begged them not to come, so they’re at home watching the clock count down, with nerves increasingly getting frayed. Meanwhile, Kevin’s mother & father do show up at the execution, although not necessarily for the reason one would think. There are unearthed secrets and revelations throughout that shake the foundation for Ray’s parents, while Kevin’s parents seem to find some sort of quiet understanding about what really happened that day to their son and just who Ray is.
While the film is a bit slow (it’s not till 30 minutes in that you find out why these two sets of people are going around looking desperately sad), it is good. It’s plain and simple, matching it’s country scenery, with powerhouse performances. Amy Redford, in particular, as Ray’s mother is phenomenal. She’s so utterly raw, it’s breathtaking. The script is well-done and though it does have its aforementioned slow parts, it’s tight.
I absolutely recommend HATE CRIME as a unique look at an all-too-often-found modern scene. Check it out on IMDB!