BFI Flare: Love, Scott — a compassionate call to arms against hate crime ★★★★

A moving documentary about a man’s life in the aftermath of a homophobic attack might just be the surprise hit of LGBT cinema this year.

Love, Scott is the true story of Scott Jones, a gay man who was left paralysed after an attack which he firmly believes was motivated by homophobia.

The documentary, which premiered at BFI Flare, is a sensitive exploration of Jones’ life in the three years after the attack and the relationship between strength and fear.

The documentary has a clear message attached, in the fact that while Jones’ attacker pled guilty to attempted murder, the attack was not treated as a hate crime by the Canadian courts or the media.

Love, Scott does not focus on the specific events of the attack, instead focusing more broadly on a fully fleshed picture of Jones and his rallying cry for legal reform.

What follows is an emotionally deep and reflective documentary which is both sensitive and rousing.

(Photo by Ian Willms/Getty Images)

Although the piece occasionally feels like it loses its focus, almost every part of it serves to round out the experience of Scott Jones.

Related — BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival transforms the capital into the ‘best queer venue in the world’

In one of the most moving parts of the documentary, Jones returns a year later to the place in Nova Scotia where he was attacked, reflecting on the fear that he felt in that moment and previously as a closeted gay man.

Part of the documentary’s intimacy comes from the relationships behind the camera, as narrator, writer and director Laura Marie Wayne is a close friend of Jones’.

This relationship is clear in the film, as the documentary is framed as if the audience is simply another friend in the room, adding to the film’s intensity.

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