THE LOVING STORY - On DemandFebruary 09, 2012
Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE LOVING STORY(HBO).
THE LOVING STORY
A Landmark Case for Love
“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
--Caroline County Court (Virginia) Trial Judge Leon M. Bazile
These are the words Judge Bazile used to find Mr. and Mrs. Richard Loving guilty of miscegenation in 1958. Those words make my stomach churn. However, those words made it possible to go forward with the lawsuit that made the law that inspired them unacceptable and obsolete.
How that turning point was taken is lovingly (sorry, couldn’t resist!) explored in the filmmaker Nancy Buirski’s HBO Doc, “The Loving Story,” using rare and previously unseen footage along with some extraordinary photos and recordings.
The Lovings could not have been more appropriately named. As revealed in the footage, you can’t help but root for this simple, warm-hearted family. Not activists in any way, they were firmly rooted in their love for each other and for their families and home. They simply wanted to be together and be able to live in their hometown, near their parents and friends. This basic need was powerful enough to move the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
Of course, they had help in the fresh-out-of-school pair of ACLU lawyers, Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, who navigated the treacherous waters of our legal system and won (unanimously!) their Supreme Court case.
Along with the rest of the civil rights movement, this was an idea whose time had come, and the inevitability of it seems like a foregone conclusion now. “The Loving Story,” however, shows just how recently miscegenation was a felony crime in nearly half the states of our country. Even though the case overturned those laws, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that Alabama became the last state to remove the miscegenation laws from their books!
One also can’t help but notice the similarities in our current controversy over gay marriage. Although she had quietly removed herself from public life, Mildred Loving did say that she supported equal marriage rights for homosexuals shortly before she passed away. We can only hope that in the near future, we’ll look back at that story the same way we look at “The Loving Story.”
But to finish this article on a positive note, I say bag the flowers, jewelry and expensive dinners, and watch “The Loving Story” with your valentine to really appreciate the strength and dignity of true love.
Jean Tait is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. Currently the Director of Programming for the Connecticut Film Festival, Jean has programmed for the Jacksonville Film Festival and Sundance Channel.
THE LOVING STORY (HBO) is available on HBO On Demand.
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