Emotionally charged works that illuminate some of the most controversial issues of society are typical of stories written and directed by multifaceted rising director Kimberly Peirce. Peirce was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on September 8th, 1967 and lived in a trailer park for some time. After attending high school in Miami, FL she went on to study at the University of Chicago and there she majored in English and Japanese Literature. Following this she proceeded to go to Japan to work as a photographer as well as a model. Her notable debut, which established her reputation as a fearless and intriguing director was Boy’s Don’t Cry, which took her nine years to make. Her most recent Stop Loss, which was a Paramount Pictures production.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Peirce went on to get her MFA in film at the prestigious Columbia University in New York City. While at Columbia Peirce was working on a thesis about a female soldier in the American Civil War when she suddenly dropped the idea because she didn’t “personally connect to it enough.” But sparks flew and brilliance was concieved when Peirce read an article in the Villiage Voice about a person named Brandon Teena, a transman who was raped and killed in Falls City, Nebraska and Boy’s Don’t Cry was born.
Peirce notes that she “falls in love with characters as she brings them to life,” She says, “When I was eight years old I did animation and I loved bringing characters to life- they were like little friends to me, little human beings.” She certainly fell in love with the characters in BDC. She especially fell in love with Brandon Teena. The controversial film uncovers gender and sexuality issues that are generally brushed under the rug so to speak far too much within our society. Based on actual events the film follows the life of Brandon Teena a transgendered teen who preferred life as a male until it was discovered he was born biologically female. Her research and love for the film brought her to Nebraska where she talked to the real people she was writing about and she even sat in on the trials of the two homicidal suspects in the case which helped fuel her passion for the film.