By Rachel Woodward, September 14 2018 —
In October 2013, Scott Jones was attacked as he walked home from a bar in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. The attack followed glares directed at Jones throughout the night, as Jones claims that he is one of the only openly gay men in his town. The attack was brutal, leaving Jones paralyzed from the waist down, confronted with his own journey of recovery, both physically and emotionally.
The attack was followed by headlines around the country providing support for Jones and his family during his subsequent recovery. In 2014, his attacker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted murder. Outcry began, however, when the case was not prosecuted as a hate crime. This sparked the “Don’t Be Afraid” campaign in order to bring light to attacks motivated by homophobia and prejudice.
This past March, Jones’s story was shared publicly with the release of Love, Scott, a documentary by Laura Marie Wayne which follows Jones on his journey of healing and self-growth. Love, Scott is a touching story of survival and forgiveness, supported by the raw and delicate soundscapes of Icelandic avant-rock band Sigur Rós. The film will screen as a part of Calgary Film 2018.
The film begins in present day, where Jones is a music student in Toronto, working in choral music as a source of healing. Love, Scott is a fragile and honest glimpse into Jones’ life, which is gripping as audiences watch his successes, fears, insecurities and anxieties grow and shift throughout the 76-minute doc. Certain moments of trauma recovery feel so vulnerable and close that I felt almost embarrassed at times watching intimate moments between Jones and his sister, mom and friends. It’s an honour to bear witness to the revelations and explorations that Jones encounters throughout the film.
The cinematography in the film truly plays to the vulnerability of Jones’s journey, with shots highlighting simple, intimate moments. Some scenes are shot in complete darkness to emphasize the words and sounds that create such emotional ties throughout the film. The choice to incorporate Sigur Rós’ instrumentals throughout the film not only heightens the emotional vulnerability present, but allowed me to fully engage in the experience. The shots are simple, calculated and pack a punch. Particularly, Scott’s letters to his attacker near the end of the film are something truly human and I feel like I’ve never heard words spoken to another human in such an honest way. Jones felt compelled to reach out to his attacker and his words speak volumes to his character, state of mind and spirit. What starts as a tale of recovery ends as a tale of forgiveness — something that comes as such a real and hopeful step in Jones’s story of survival.
Love, Scott will show as a part of Calgary Film at Eau Claire Market on Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. and Sept. 29 at 2:00 p.m. Jones will be in attendance for the viewing. Tickets are available online.