Fact-based drama centering on the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly homosexual college student in Wyoming, by two homophobic, trouble-making teens and their co-conspirator ...
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Fact-based drama centering on the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly homosexual college student in Wyoming, by two homophobic, trouble-making teens and their co-conspirator girlfriends which prompted an outcry of support for the Shepard family and tougher hate-crime laws by liberal activists, but also support for Matthew's killers by religious leaders and homophobic activists. Written by
The story of the Matthew Shepard tragedy deserves better than this
I was in college in Laramie, Wyoming, at the time of the Matthew Shepard tragedy, and will always be ashamed that such a crime could have taken place in my community. With that said, this movie gets it all wrong. They went for easy plot devices, the furthering of stereotypes (which shouldn't be Matthew's legacy), and a misrepresentation of the community. The sad part is that with a little work, they could have made a film that sent a lasting message. Instead they made a movie that portrayed a town full of simple minded rednecks who somehow have Southern accents, a police force consisting of a Barney Fife cop, and a total reinvention of certain parts of the story. Being that the idiots that murdered Matthew came from Laramie, examining the responsibility of the community is fair, but this isn't examination. This is lazy story telling that MTV unfortunately passed off as an educational film (They used to show it late at night without commercials as part of their Cable in the Classroom series so educators could tape it). If you want to see the definitive movie (or play) on the Matthew Shepard tragedy, see The Laramie Project. That movie doesn't let anyone off the hook. It doesn't look for easy answers, and it gives the subject matter the true examination it deserves.
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