ACMI Identifier
Boys don't cry
Creator & Role
Killer Films, production company
Hart Sharp Entertainment, production company
Jeffrey Sharp, co-producer
John Hart, co-producer
Eva Kolooner, co-producer
Christine Vachon, co-producer
Kimberly Pierce, director
Place of Production
United States
Creation Date
Sound / Audio
Based on the life and death of Brandon Teena, "Boys Don't Cry" is a gripping and very moving account of difference and intolerance. Believing herself to really be a male, Brandon constructs a masculine persona for herself and acts and lives as a man in a poverty stricken community in Nebraska. Within this "white trash" locale she attempts to live her identity as best she can. She falls in love with Lana (Chloe Sevigny), a tender romance which results in a group of local young men venting their homophobic violence on the lovers. One of a series of works in late twentieth century American cinema which attempted to deal with the the increasing fracturing and alienation of working class life caused by unemployment and the rationalising of both economics and ethics, "Boys Don't Cry" resonates deeply as both a story of damaged lives as well being an inspiring challenge to conservative understandings of gender and sexuality. Hilary Swank's performance as Brandon justifiably won her an Academy Award for Best Actress, and Sevigny's performance is equally fine. A labour of love for director Pierce, "Boys Don't Cry" is an exemplary work of Queer Cinema, as well as an outstanding example of the best of American independent film.
Audience Classification
R (18+)
Feature films
Feature films/Feature films - United States
Subject Group
Food, Health, Lifestyle, Medicine, Psychology & Safety/Violence
Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV/Academy awards (Motion pictures)
Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV/Biographical films
Food, Health, Lifestyle, Medicine, Psychology & Safety/Homophobia
People/Biographical films
Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality/Violence
Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology/Violence
Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality/Homophobia
Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality/Gay and lesbian studies
Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology/Homophobia
Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology/Working class in motion pictures
Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality/Transvestism
Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality/Transsexualism
VHS; Access Print (Section 1)