Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine (screening)
- Directed by: Michele Josue
- Produced by: Liam McNiff & Michele Josue
Running Time: 89 min Theatrical Version & 40 min Classroom Version
Language: English with Spanish & Mandarin Subtitles
Educational Package includes: Theatrical Trailer, Shepard’s Statement To The Court, Matthew Shepard Foundation Video: Combating Hate And Bullying In Lexington, Kentucky, Classroom Mini Unit By Big Picture Instructional Design (PDF Available For Computer Download On This Disc), and Special Message from Judy and Dennis Shepard.
On October 7, 1998, University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and tied to a fence and left to die because he was gay. Years later, Michele Josue, a close friend of Matt's, revisits the shocking case with never-before-seen photos, rare video footage, as Shepard's all-too-brief life is remembered through the vivid testimonies of those who knew him best. New revelations emerge in one of the most notorious hate crimes in US history, leading to a searing, poignant, and multi-layered biographical and sociological portrait. In the end, the notion of forgiveness--embodied in the moving and courageous final act of Shepard's parents--takes on truly heroic proportions.
Reviews / Quotes:
“'Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine' is a great documentary...This film doesn't just revisit an atrocity, it moves through it, and finds meaning in it." -RogerEbert.com
“A tender reconstruction of personal loss." -The New York Times
"Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine' seeks to restore Shepard's humanity to his name, to tell the story of the person who was murdered for being who he was." -Slate
"The film is enough to prompt soul-searching among parents, educators and the LGBT community on how to provide adequate guidance and support for LGBT youths." -Los Angeles Times
"Long-in-coming doc offers an intensely personal look behind the headlines."- Hollywood Reporter
"This remarkable film is a tearjerker in a good way, with director Josue assembling a collage of key moments in Matt's all-too-brief life that carries the emotional punch of a great novel." -Bay Area Reporter
"Josue's film is sensitive and personal...Her journey to and discovery of Wyoming - a place she had never been before Shepard's funeral in Casper - is as compelling a component in the film as details of the killing and trial." -San Francisco Chronicle