Emily Mody - Love, Scott (Calgary Film 2018)

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 06:00 PM

Love, Scott (Calgary Film 2018)

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Love, Scott is a feature length Canadian documentary directed by Laura Marie Wayne. The film follows Scott Jones. Jones is an openly gay, Canadian musician. In 2013, he was a victim of a stabbing that took place in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. This attack left Scott paralyzed from the waist down. Although the stabbing is believed to be a hate crime against him by virtually everyone who hears his story, the attacker has never been charged for committing such offence. This film is a guided look into Scott’s life as he comes to grips with his new reality.

The main focus of Love, Scott is on the inadequacies of the Canadian legal system when dealing with hate crimes against individuals who identify as LGBTQ. Before I begin the opinion portion of my review, I would like to state with my sincerest respect to Scott and his family that I agree with the overall message of this documentary. How the legal system deals with hate crimes towards the LGBTQ community is deplorable. Ultimately however, I feel that this film tried to examine too much. Scott’s life as a disabled man is touched on very briefly and in many ways, I wish it was not discussed at all. The notes of internalized ableism ran very deep and it was at the detriment of the disabled community that the queer community was elevated. Now, some people may say that this is just one man’s story. That given the tragic circumstances of the attack we should, perhaps take the negative portrayal in stride. I think we can do better. I think we need to do better.

The thread of this discussion is reminiscent of the debate regarding the film The Colour Purple directed by Steven Spielberg. The film is an adaptation of the novel by Alice Walker. Some people expressed the opinion that the film did many positive things regarding the portrayal of African American women in mainstream media. The African American men, however, were so poorly portrayed that many thought that The Colour Purple was actually detrimental to the community as a whole. On the one hand, it is a complex discussion because again, this is one woman’s story and it is both honest and sincere.

Ultimately, I feel that the responsibility lies with the filmmaker. When media content for a minority community is already limited, the filmmaker has to be extremely cognizant of how that community is being portrayed. This is especially critical when the filmmaker does not belong to that minority group, themselves. I find it thoroughly disheartening that filmmakers still believe that in order to positively portray one group they must subjugate another.

I hesitate to recommend this film but the discussion it has brought up is a critical one. If you find value in discussing the intersections of multiple minority statuses then I encourage you to see Love, Scott and formulate your own opinion. Love, Scott is 75 minutes long and will be screening as a part of the 19th Calgary International Film Festival 2018. It will be playing on Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 6:30pm and Saturday, September 29th, 2018 at 2:00pm. Both screenings will be at Eau Claire Cinemas. 

Calgary Showtimes: Love, Scott >
Stream it free on NFB >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.