Think of it as counter-programming for the Oscar-nominated film "I, Tonya," because the publicity team behind this new documentary about Shane Stant -- the "hitman" that clubbed Nancy Kerrigan's knee in 1994 -- certainly wants you to see it that way.
In the first teaser trailer for the documentary, Shane reflects on a life of violence and bad choices. "I was periodically beating people for money," he says.
He goes on to add, "I can't by any means say that I made one bad turn. I was already in the depths of making a lot of bad turns." One of those turns thrust him into the national spotlight as he was arrested for the assault of U.S. figure skating darling Nancy Kerrigan and spent 18 months in jail.
But this isn't just a film about the bad decision one man made when he was 22 years old. It's also the story of his younger sister, 20 years his junior and just two years old when the infamous attack was carried out. After Shane got out of jail, he went on to raise his sister from the age of six on. To her, he is a mentor and hero. To the world, he is a villain. They've never talked about the attack.
"My Hero's Shadow" captures the moment that 26-year-old Maile Stant first sits down to have a frank conversation with Shane about the 1994 attack. It also turns back the clock to tell Shane's story, from his abused upbringing to the detailed planning of the attack itself.
"If you just kind of mentally believe that you belong somewhere, then no one will question you," Shane says of the ease in which he gained access to Kerrigan. "I was timing the movements of the cameraman." The film, which is seeking distribution, is described by its publicist as "'I, Tonya' from another perspective."
But the story doesn't stop with the attack, continuing to follow Shane over the next two decades as his time in prison turns him around. "Once I understood the concept that I could change as a person, that's when life became exciting. I was like, 'OK, who do you want to be?'"
The story is centered around the climactic moment when Maile confronts Shane for the first time about what happened. "I don't think I was ready to hear my brother say, 'Yeah, I was definitely a person who would hurt someone.'" To her, he was the older brother who protected her from their father's wrath.
Just as "I, Tonya" proved there are many facets to Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding, beyond what public perception has decided her story is, this film hopes to show that Shane Stant is more than the guy who swung a police baton at a figure skater.