Michael Sauter
February 01, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Like the somewhat fictionalized ”Boys Don’t Cry,” this documentary, The Brandon Teena Story, leaves us wanting to know more about Teena’s formative years as a mixed-up Midwest girl who grew up yearning to be a boy. But in showing us what ”Boys” leaves out about Teena’s 1993 rape and murder — including the fact that there were three, not two victims — the film only deepens our sense of tragedy. This isn’t just the Brandon Teena story; it’s the damning portrait of one heartland town’s pervasive hate and intolerance.

Reel Goodies While the filmmakers show childhood snapshots of Teena, we hear the taped testimony of one of her murderers, who describes the grim details in a cold-blooded monotone. The Last Detail When this film was released theatrically in September 1998, Teena’s mother, JoAnn, was suing Richardson County, Neb., for the wrongful death of her daughter. Last December, the court awarded her $17,360.

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