3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)
Hate Crime is a film we need right now. With depressingly escalating numbers of school shootings, racially-motivated bombings, and, unfortunately, hate crimes flooding the news headlines, it is easy to become numb to the death toll and forget the gravity of human loss that comes from these crimes. Hate Crime follows the aftermath of one such event, how the families of both the criminals and the victims are affected, and that no crime is without complexity. Nuanced performances and a refreshingly stripped-down examination of a complex subject make Hate Crime an engaging and necessary film for our times.
Trailer Unavailable at this time.
Farmers Tom and Ginny (Kevin Berhardt and Amy Redford) are reeling from their son’s (Jordan Salloum) involvement in a hate crime against a gay student (Chasen Schneider). With their marriage fragile and the phone ringing off the hook from angry townspeople, Tom and Ginny must come to terms with their son’s actions and confront long-ignored personal demons. Elsewhere, the victims’ parents John and Marie (John Schneider and Laura Cayouette) are grieving over their loss. Both couples must decide whether to let their grief overcome them or attempt to move on from it.
I admire Hate Crime for its honest examination of topical issues like loss, homosexuality, and toxic masculinity. It is rare to see how the parents of both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crimes react after the event, and this film takes an unflinching look at that without politicizing or oversimplification. The characters are unexpectedly nuanced, and director Steven Esteb gives the film a grounded tone.
Despite an initially confusing setup, brief overacting, and some minor audio flubs, Hate Crime is a challenging, honest, and hopeful film that leaves a heartrending impact. See it on Amazon, InDemand, DIRECTV, FlixFling, FANDANGO, Hoopla, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, AT&T, and Sling/Dish starting on August 24th, 2019.
Would likely be rated PG-13 for Mature Thematic Elements, a Scene of Violence, and Brief Strong Language
Thank you to Tricoast Entertainment for contacting me about writing this review. I look forward to seeing what they do in the future, as well as everyone who worked on this film.