Matthew Shepard’s legacy needs no introduction. This tender but powerful little documentary, however, sets out to show us who Matt Shepard was, as a person. Directed by Michele Josuehe, a friend from his teenage years at a Swiss boarding school, the film is packed with intimate details of his life that have not been shared—at least not on a mass level. Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine shows Matt as an imperfect kid who was searching to find himself, like we all were at his age.
The film bravely confronts topics like Matt’s final hours, how his killers have fared, his parents’ decision to request (successfully) that the death penalty not be imposed, and a painfully uncomfortable interview with a priest about forgiveness. Although it takes a little while to get going and occasionally dips into nostalgia, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine is a worthy effort.
Screening followed by a live Q and A with director Michele Josuehe.
(AMC River East) B-