Roy Kirkland befriended me through YouTube, and immediately informed me of their film "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee." I do get a bunch of requests to watch and review films from indie filmmakers, and I do devote time to give them love in my own little way. Film is my passion, and I'm passionate towards people who live and breathe movies.
Kirkland is one of those people whose passion is palpable. So I watched "A Cross is Burning in Willacoochee" and I just couldn't stop the film until the very end.
It's a documentary that features filmmakers Kirkland and Doug Sebastian, a gay couple who suffered repeated acts of violence one summer in 1993. When the couple decides to move to Willacoochee, a small town in Georgia, trouble begins.
First, it's the seemingly innocent knocking down of their mailbox, then, a 7-foot cross burning in their front yard, to death threats culminating in the mysterious burning of the Kirkland family home. The documentary shows how the couple's pleas to local authorities for help are met with deaf ears.
"A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" is a thought-provoking film. It's a powerful piece of filmmaking that highlights some ugly truths about rural America we rarely hear about.
What impresses me the most is that neither Kirkland nor Sebastian seek out to be political activists. They experienced something horrible and now they're looking for answers.
What's sad is, almost 17 years later, the couple are still in search for the elusive answers.
"A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" recently won best documentary at the 2009 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.
Check out the film's website right here. And here's the trailer of "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee."
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