'Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine' Documentary Shines Light On A Queer Life Ended Tragically
Turns out, Matt was friends with…pretty much everyone.
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Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine is an incredibly important documentary for the LGBT community. This film, released in 2015, is a beautifully powerful and poignant illustration of the life of Matthew Shepard, an American student who was murdered in a homophobic hate crime in 1998.
The film presents Matthew not in a chronological biography, but as the person he was. We see photos and film clips. We hear stories from friends, family members, teachers - people who knew him in various ways. Indiewire best describes it as, “A moving eulogy to a life lost, but not forgotten.”
Michele Josue is a friend of Matt Shepard’s. She also has the gift of filmmaking talent. Combining the two, she creates an absolutely wonderful tribute to a young man whose death led to some of the greatest political changes and advancements for the LGBT community in America.
Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine not only details the life and times and accomplishments of Matthew Shepard. Josue also does an exceptional job detailing the night and horrific events that led to his death. Detailed information, including interviews with police officers and the bartender who saw Shepard that night, along with his two assailants, help to give us perspective on one of the most horrific hate crimes of our times. The bartender’s perspective and ability to recall what he witnessed that night is astounding.
Matt Shepard had plans of changing the world. One might assume that after his death, that dream was quashed. Quite the contrary: he continues to change and improve the world through the hard work and dedication of his parents, family and friends. Not only are we given this gem of a film, but we see the work Matthew’s parents are doing; we learn about the Matthew Shepard Foundation; we see the many ways that Matt is being honoured and remembered. He is changing the world, despite the brutality and ignorance that killed him.
This film is more than just a biography, and more than a documentary. It is an historic landmark for the United States, and for the LGBT community.
Although Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine is not a specifically lesbian film, it reaches the entire LGBT community. This is one documentary that, if you haven’t already seen it, you must; and if you have, you might just want to watch it again.