Matthew Shepard became national and then worldwide news? More than any other victim of a gay hate crime that I can ever recall, young Shepard became the face, body, heart and soul of gay victim-hood. He stood for it all. "Matthew always wanted to be famous," notes the boy's guidance counselor (himself a gay man), with sadness and irony, during the course of this new documentary. One can't help but wonder, after seeing MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE -- written and directed by Michele Josue, who was indeed a good friend of the murdered boy -- what Shepard himself would make of the kind of martyr he has now become.
Josue manages this by bringing to that table a landfall of interviews, mostly with Shepard's family, to whom he was extremely close, and with teachers, counselors and his many friends. Everybody liked this fellow, it seems. So, too, might have his murderers, had they only gotten to know him a little longer and a little better. When they were sober.
Run Rabbit Run Media opens at New York's AMC Empire 25 on Friday, February 6, then expands to Los Angeles' Laemmle Noho 7 on the following Friday, February 13.