Tuesday, 18 September 2018

NFB DOC LOVE, SCOTT FOLLOWS GAY MAN'S JOURNEY AFTER VIOLENT ATTACK

Canadian musician Scott Jones tells his story in the 2018 NFB documentary film Love, Scott (Photo by Laura Marie Wayne)

Nova Scotia gay musician and choral conductor Scott Jones was stabbed in the back and throat slashed outside a New Glasgow club in October 2013. Nineteen-year-old Shane Edward Matheson was charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The stabbing severed Jones’ spinal cord, leaving Jones paralyzed from the waist down. Yet when he read his victim impact statement in Nova Scotia Supreme Court during sentencing, Jones told Matheson, “Shane, nothing can justify what you've done to me, but I forgive you for what you have done." 

The road to recovery has been a difficult one for Jones who launched his Don’t Be Afraid campaign in 2013 to battle homophobia and transphobia, and he is the subject of the NFB documentary Love, Scott, filmed by his best friend, director Laura Wayne, and which is currently earning rave reviews on the film festival circuit.

The film is pensive and elegiac. As the NFB describes it, “From the first raw moments in the hospital to a disquieting trip back to the place he was attacked, Scott is constantly faced with the choice of losing himself in waves of grief or embracing love over fear. Filmed over three years by Scott’s close friend, Love, Scott is an intimate and visually evocative window into queer experience, set against a stunning score by Sigur Rós.”

I interviewed both Laura Wayne and Scott Jones when Love, Scott screened at the 2018 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival in Halifax.

Why did you feel compelled to make this movie?

Laura Wayne:  A really important part of making this film for me was Scott knew from the beginning that he was targetted for being a gay man. But no hate crimes charges were pressed and it was not a topic in the courtroom. But it was important to Scott and I felt this needed to be explored.

What do you hope to accomplish with this film?

Scott Jones: As Laura said, the attack was not labelled as a hate crime. I hope this film shines on a light on hate crimes in Canada. I also hope that the queer community feels like they are being represented onscreen. We just don’t see enough stories about queer disabled people on the big screen, so this is a big accomplishment.
Movie still of scene where Scott Jones stands up in theatre 

My favourite scene in the film is when Scott stands up onstage in the theatre. What was it like to film that scene?

Scott Jones: At that point I wasn’t really thinking about being filmed. I remember saying how vulnerable I felt. But that moment was powerful. It was an incredible afternoon.

Laura Wayne:  Yes, I was deeply moved when we filmed that scene, as well as the scene at the Pride parade. I had to juggle this dual role – half professional filmmaker, the other as Scott’s best friend. During those two scenes, it was really emotional and a privilege to be there.

Scott, was making this film a cathartic experience for you, and has it contributed to your healing in any way?

Scott Jones: I could spend hours answering this question. The short answer is yes! I think that is thanks to my relationship with Laura and the love she has given me on this journey. It is something I desperately needed. The film has changed my life and contributed to my healing.

For more about Love, Scott, click here.




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