Media is a powerful weapon

The Guy with the Knife

Twenty years after he helped put Jon Buice in a Texas prison, Ray Hill is fighting to free him. Filmed over eight years, The Guy With the Knife traces the history of the friendship between a prominent gay rights activist and a convicted ‘gay bash’ murderer, set against the backdrop of gay rights, victims’ rights, and prisoners’ rights, in the harsh Texas justice system.

Reviews

In a timely epilogue to the screening last week of “The Guy With the Knife” at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, news comes today that the subject of the film, Jon Buice, was just granted parole after 24 years in prison.

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A Look at “The Guy with the Knife”: Is the Texas Criminal Justice System too Easily Manipulated?

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Sometimes, even people with the best of intentions can get things horribly wrong. Rather than holding on to what we think we know is true, we all need to be able to look past our preconceptions and admit our biases. As much as we would sometimes like it to be, nothing is black and white.

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Long before Houston banker Paul Broussard brutally was murdered in a Montrose gang attack on July 4, 1991, Ray Hill, a blustering ex-con and gay activist, was a master of media manipulation. But with Broussard’s death – and the crime investigation that followed – Hill faced the biggest challenge of his career.

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Paul Broussard’s murder taught the nation the phrase ‘gay-bashing.’ But was it really a hate crime?

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It’s hard to walk into Alison Armstrong‘s first feature-length documentary without bias or expectation. In cases involving profiling or the loss of life — cases like that of Jon Buice — pre-conceived notions are the norm. It’s a disturbing reverse-stereotype that clenches a fist around the hearts of even the most cautious and intellectual observer. And it’s exactly what Armstrong is counting on.

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Jury Statement: For its unique and complex story that only enriches the diversity of the LGBTQ community, which in turn shows us as full and intricate beings, the Jury bestows the Best Documentary Feature Award to Alison J Armstrong's The Guy With The Knife. Much like Swoon in the early 90's, the filmmaker does not shy away from controversy or taboo, does not adhere to so much of queer cinema portraying us as tragic victims. At once there can be great understanding as well as great disgust for each character in this film. That is a great feat.

ImageOut Film Awards

It’s hard to walk into Alison Armstrong‘s first feature-length documentary without bias or expectation. In cases involving profiling or the loss of life — cases like that of Jon Buice — preconceived notions are the norm. It’s a disturbing reverse-stereotype that clenches a fist around the hearts of even the most cautious and intellectual observer. And it’s exactly what Armstrong is counting on.

Steven, Truthoncinema.com

Credits

Director:
Alison Armstrong

Cinematographer:
Jerry Hattan

Editors:
Sarah Peddie & Ross Wilson

Consulting Editor:
Ricardo Acosta

Consulting Producer:
Bob Culbert

Executive Producers:
Brad Danks & Philip Webb