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The Laramie Project (2002)

TV-14 | | Drama, Crime | TV Movie 9 March 2002
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The true story of an American town in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard.

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(play), (screenplay) | 20 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Andy Paris ...
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Greg Pierotti (as Grant James Varjas)
Kelli Simpkins ...
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Billie McBride ...
Bill Christ ...
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Regina Krueger ...
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Storyline

Moisés Kaufman and members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard's visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of "Angels in America" a year after Shephard's death. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Taglines:

When a small town comes face to face with murder, everybody has a tale to tell. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le projet Laramie  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The parade was shot the first day of production in the midst of a snow storm. It was May. See more »

Quotes

Dennis Shepard: My son, Matthew, did not look like a winner. He was rather uncoordinated and wore braces from the age of 13 until the day he died. However in his all-too-brief life, he proved that he was a winner. On October 6th 1998, he tried to show the world he could win again. On October 12th 1998, my first born son, and my hero, lost. On October 12th 1998, my first born son, and my hero, died. 50 days before his 22nd birthday. I keep wondering the same thing that I did when I first saw him in the hospital...
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Connections

Version of Anatomy of a Hate Crime (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Fight Wyoming Fight
Written by Edgar Lewis
Performed by The University of Wyoming Band
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User Reviews

 
Very important and moving
7 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

I knew when I first heard about the project to put The Laramie Project on-screen that I wanted to see it. I knew, too, that I would find it moving and touching and probably a bit depressing. What I did not know, however, is that it would remind me of my own responsibility to live out loud and honestly. I remember being numb to Matthew Shepherd's death at the time it occurred, thinking how this is just one person out of the thousands whose similar experiences are never heard, so what makes him so special.

What I realized while I watched the film is that it is precisely because he is no more special than other human being that makes his story important, because it could be any gay person's story, even any minority person's story, and whatever draws attention to matters of hate and violence in the name of fear is crucial to the fight for equality of all people.

I realized while watching this film that I let loved ones in my life get away with language that I wouldn't take from a stranger, ignorant comments about how I don't make them uncomfortable because I don't "flaunt my gayness." Seemingly harmless words like "live and let live" are really saying "I will live however I want, and you can live however you want as long as I don't have to hear about it."

The Laramie Project reminded me how precious freedom is and how puritan this supposedly free country still is. I wish this film would become a part of school curriculum, part of office training on sensitivity--it should be viewed by everyone of both sides of the "gay issue." I hope it serves to change some minds.


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