Hot Docs: Love, Scott
(TORONTO, ON) – Love, Scott is both depressing and inspiring. Scott Jones is an openly gay man and musician who is brutally slashed in a cowardly nighttime attack, in a small Nova Scotia town. Scott had a gut feeling of danger as he received “that look” in the bar from his attacker.
As a gay man, Scott was familiar with “that look” from homophobic men. Alone and at night, a savage knife attack left Scott paralyzed from the waist down.
What follows is the journey Scott takes as a man between two worlds. One as a healthy and mobile young man to a wheelchair bound victim. Scott did not collapse into a pool of self pity, but tried to rebuild a new life, recognizing his “new normal” status.
He founded a choir and an anti-homophobic movement, “Don’t be Afraid.” His view is that we are so afraid of so many things it hampers our healthy existence.
The man who attacked him was afraid of homosexuals. Scott was frightened about coming out.
This is a thoroughly modern documentary that has Scott telling his story gently prodded by his long-time friend Laura Marie Wayne, who is the director of the film. His story is not solely about his victimization by a vicious attack, but also a very sensitive story about his coming out of the closet.
It’s a story of a man willing to forgive his attacker, but racked by moments of anger and anguish. He stated that he would like to meet his attacker as they share one momentous fact, namely that they were on opposite ends of the knife. Yet, he calls his attacker as an asshole who has caused devastating effects to Scott, and his family and, for that matter, his attacker. He was “paralyzed” by a conviction and 10-year imprisonment for attempted murder.
Scott believes that an encounter with his attacker is about the only way they both can heal.
The documentary is a rich investigation about homophobic violence and the havoc it wreaks. I am not saying it is solely inspiring, but rather a bit of jagged realism. It follows Scott over a three-year period.
How can one ever be healed when, as Scott says, his life has been robbed from him? But, Scott appears to be coping rather well. Healing is a much longer and dubious process.
The question unanswered is, why does such a vicious homophobic streak exist in Canadian society? I will say that love between consenting adults really should conquer hate. Gay bashing and slashing have no place in Canada.
A riveting soundtrack with music from Sigur Róz.
(Love Scott, 2018, Canada, director Laura Marie Wayne, produced for National Film Board’s Quebec and Atlantic Studios by Annette Clark, 76 minutes, part of Toronto Hot Docs Film Festival, screens April 28 and 29 and May 3)