Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Facing Fear" and Forgiveness

To listen to the KUCI Subversity Online podcast of our interview with director Jason Cohen, click on: .
Irvine - One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive hateful acts, especially perpetrated by someone on yourself.  Documentary filmmaker Jason Cohen's "Facing Fear", featured at this year's Outfest Los Angeles, offers convincing evidence that reconciliation and forgiveness are still options even for a gay-bashing victim and his neoNazi perpetrator.  On Subversity Online, host Daniel C. Tsang talked today with Cohen about his film and they explored the issues of forgiveness and hatred.

Jason Cohen (left) with Matthew Boger at the Museum of Tolerance.
Cohen's powerful short (23-minute) film tells the story of the accidental encounter, 25 years after a vicious beating on the streets of West Hollywood, of Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal, who meet again at the Museum of Tolerance, and the path to reconciliation and indeed trust, among the two.

Boger, who was 13 when beaten badly by Zaal, then 17, and a neoNazi punk rocker prowling the streets to beat up the vulnerable who later regretted his violent past, manage to find a way to understand each other.  From teen hustler surviving on the streets after being kicked out of his home by his religious mom, Boger offers hope to those bullied for being different.   Indeed the film is ultimately about hope for a future for both these men and for humanity in general, that hatred and division can be overcome and opposing sides can eventually reach some reconciliation.

The film is shown at Outfest Los Angeles this coming weekend.  It screens as part of a shorts program on Queerer than Fiction (including one portraying Star Trek's George Takei and his partner Brad) at the Directors Guild of America, Saturday, July 13, 2013  at 11:30am and Sunday  July 14, 2013 at 9:30pm.   For the entire lineup, see the Outfest LA program guide. See also ticket information. - Daniel C. Tsang.