Several valuable lessons to learn here in Jason Cohen’s 23 minute short documentary. We could all learn to be a little bit more forgiving. It is not always possible, but when it is the reward for all involved is worth the potential pain and fears involved.
25 years have passed since a young gay man was brutally attacked in an alley by a couple of neo-Nazi skinheads. A hate crime pure and simple. That incident shaped the lives of the both of the men who are the focus of this documentary. Both are working towards forgiveness from different sides of the issue and it won’t be easy for either man.
At the very young age of 13, Michael Boger was thrown out of his family home because he was gay. The trauma of that combined with his age led to him living on the streets of Hollywood. One day he was cornered in a back alley by a group of skinheads, who beat him savagely. After recovering from his injuries, Michael was able to get back on his feet and made a great life for himself against all the odds.
As an adult he has a chance meeting with a former neo-Nazi, Tim Zaal. Soon they discover that Tim was amongst the group which beat Michael that day 25 years prior. Not willing to just give into his fear and hate, Michael bravely decides to continue along on his journey with Tim. Against all odds and showing incredible strength, the two have managed to forge a friendship.
The important thing is that they will try to accomplish it together. What they go through will challenge them in regards to what they believe in and things they fear. Cohen, in a short time, allows us to get to know both Tim and Michael. Who they were then and the men they are today. Quite moving.
The short doc was nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short category in 2014. It can now be watched on OVID.tv.