Saw ‘The Laramie Project‘ on Friday night via Comcast on demand. Glad I did…

The Laramie Project DVD

It’s a great film documenting Laramie, Wyoming’s conversation with itself and the rest of the world following Matthew Shepard’s murder. The gist of it from an IMDB commenter is —

“The Laramie Project” is a film version of the play of the same name, culled from interviews with real residents of the town of Laramie, Wyoming in the wake of the horrific murder of Matthew Shepard. There are a lot of famous faces on hand (Steve Buscemi, Christina Ricci, Peter Fonda, Janeane Garofalo, Joshua Jackson, and many others), but the film’s power comes from its story, not its stars.

Presented with the voices of Laramie – and ultimately, of America…

Film did not seem contrived to me — which something like this could so easily be.

Best scenes were —

  • A parade that grows with informal people from the town walking together in Matthew’s memory
  • Confronting angry “fags are going to hell” protesters by dressing up as angels and standing between them and media — very moving piece of folk art that transmogrifies into high art
  • The realization by the cop (and her family) who cut Matthew from the fence post that she’s been exposed to AIDS — her description of forgetting protocol in the immediacy of the moment that she saw Matthew is unforgettable
  • The student (not gay) who’s parents would not watch him do a scholarship competition scene of a gay character from the play “Angel’s in America” but had no problem with his portrayal of a murderer in “Macbeth”.

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