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Review: Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine

February 20, 2015

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine PosterAfter premiering at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival last year, the gutting and critically acclaimed documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine is finally coming back to Toronto and opening at the Carlton today.  Tickets and showtimes are right here.

Matthew Shepard had just moved to Laramie, Wyoming to study in the fall of 1998, when he was brutally beaten by two homophobes who dragged him into a field and left him to die, a hate crime that attracted the attention of people across the world, and remains one of the most notorious in American history.

Directed by his former classmate Michele Josue, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine uses a mix of archival footage and interviews with his parents as well as other close friends, to create an intimate time capsule of his tragically short life.

The result is a powerful portrait of Matt Shepard as the caring young man that he clearly was, a disturbing account of his brutal murder and the ensuing trial, and a moving reassurance of the profound meaning that his life continues to have.  This is heartbreaking but highly recommended viewing.

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