The Matthew Shepard Story

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German title The Matthew Shepard Story
Original title The Matthew Shepard Story
Country of production Canada ,
original language English
Publishing year 2002
length approx. 120 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Roger Spottiswoode
script John Wierick ,
Jacob Krueger
production Clara George
music Jeff Danna ,
Mychael Danna
camera John S. Bartley
cut Dominique Fortin

The Matthew Shepard Story is a feature film whose plot is based on a true story and reconstructs the murder of Matthew Shepard and its consequences.


In the spring of 1999 the trial of the two young men Aaron McKinney and Russel Henderson takes place in Laramie ( Wyoming ). Both met Matthew Shepard in a bar on the night of October 6th and 7th of the previous year (1998). Sensing that Shepard is gay , they offered him sexual services and then drove him to a lonely area. Here they beat the defenseless 22-year-old so badly that he died a few days later in the hospital.

The plot of the film reflects the trial and lets the viewer experience the youth of Matthew Shepard in flashbacks. The film also describes the efforts of the Baptist preacher Fred Phelps , who agitated in front of the courthouse for stricter laws against homosexuality and preached hatred against homosexuals.

Background information

The film, which was shot in Canada and premiered in the USA on March 16, 2002, deals very intensely with hatred of same-sex lifestyles. On the other hand, through the eyes of the introverted Matthew Shepard , he tries to give an insight into the soul of a person who is afraid of coming out , but still tries to live his sexuality.

Canadian actor Shane Meier was cast for the title role. Shepard's parents gave their approval for the script to be made into a film.


In the same year another film was released in the United States that deals with the murder of Matthew Shepard: The Laramie Project .


In addition to an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Stockard Channing for Best Actress in a Miniseries , the film won two Gemini Awards . Shane Meier won a Screen Idol Award at the LA Outfest .

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