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Powerful and intimate doc probes the prolonged aftermath of a brutal hate crime
LOVE, SCOTT (Laura Marie Wayne, Canada). 76 minutes. Rating: NNN
In 2013, Scott Jones was attacked outside a Halifax bar and paralyzed from the waist down. The perpetrator was convicted, but Jones told police a judgmental look earlier in the night convinced him the crime was motivated by a hatred of gay people. Although Jones has since moved to Toronto to focus on choral music and has channelled his grief and trauma into a successful anti-homophobia campaign, the fact that police did not consider it a hate crime continues to cause a lot of frustration and angst.
Director Laura Marie Wayne (a longtime friend of Jones) foregrounds the hate crime issue in a digressive, dreamy documentary that unfolds largely through a series of intimate conversations in different settings: in nature, in a car parked at the scene of the crime, in Toronto as Jones prepares for a public speaking event.
Love, Scott feels especially potent since the Bruce McArthur case has highlighted how many queer people are afraid to report crimes – motivated by hate or otherwise. The meandering nature of the film powerfully captures the liminality of Jones’s life, but is also frustrating. Wayne’s presence is more stylistic and spectral than tangible and the film strangely de-emphasizes her role in a therapeutic process the film is clearly instigating.