The Laramie Project

MV5BMzczNDAzNzU2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDgyNjgxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_This film is based on the true story of the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard. Matthew was a gay 21 year old studying and living in Laramie, Wyoming. He was tied up to a fence, brutally beaten and left for dead by two young lads, McKinney and Henderson.

The film is centred on the interviews of some 200 local people, interviewed by a group of young writers and actors from a New York theatre company.

What is very evident from the film and the interviews are the strongly held/felt views of these people. The ingrained hatred for gay people and their existence is very self evident throughout the movie. However, there are a small minority of the locals with strong opposing views. This is the saving grace for Laramie and its reputation from the small minded individuals and their bigoted opinions.

I found the film really quite disturbing in the way that the individuals feel their beliefs can be shared with no conscious or regret. No compassion for the gay community and their rights for equality or at the very least an existence. This event happened in 1998, only 10 years ago – Harvey Milk was assassinated in November 1978, 20 years previously. Did this town not learn anything from that?

Although the film is alarming I did find it compelling and quite profound. I would recommend renting this to anyone who feels comfortable with their sexuality.

The Laramie Project [DVD]

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