Sometimes as a writer and reviewer, you get the chance to watch something that truly touches you. Something that makes you sit down and really take a look at what is going on in the world..makes you sit down and think. Many television shows and movies that are released today don’t fit that bill. They are obviously there for our entertainment, but every once in a while it’s nice to watch something that is not only incredibly good, but can evoke real emotions when you are watching it. One such project is a documentary called The Loving Story.
For those who don’t know, The Loving Story is about Richard and Mildred Lovely. An interracial couple who were married in 1958 in the state of Virginia. At that time, interracial or miscegenation relationships were not allowed in many of the states. The couple went to Washington, DC to get married where it was legal. Once they returned to Virginia, they were arrested for violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act. They were both sentenced to a year in jail, but the judge would suspend the sentence if the couple agreed to leave the state of Virginia for 25 years. We know the story doesn’t end their obviously..the documentary takes us from the early beginnings of their case when they decided to go to the Supreme Court, to their ultimate victory in 1967. That is when the Virginia law was overturned, both Richard and Mildred were allowed to go back home.
In steps filmmaker Nancy Buirski. She found about the story of the Lovings when she read Mildred’s obituary in 2008. She decided that the story needed to be told and I couldn’t have agreed more. The documentary is an astounding piece of work. Not only with the pacing and direction from Buirski, but the treasure trove of archival footage that was shot by Hope Ryden and the incredible photos by photographer Grey Villet give you a very close and personal portrait of the couple. The film goes to show you that people can truly make a difference. Richard and Mildred didn’t set out to change the world, they just wanted to stay together as a married couple. Their story is one of courage, determination and ultimate victory. It’s a film that everyone should see regardless of race, gender or age. It shows you never to take anything for granted.
As Nancy said to me, one person doesn’t make a film and she is totally correct. Many people were involved in this project and I’d like to acknowledge some of them:
Elisabeth Haviland James – producer and editor
Susie Ruth Powell – writer
Marshall Sonenshine – executive producer
Scott Berrie – executive producer
Patricia Romeu – co-producer
This group has put together an amazing film about a very important case in our country’s history. A documentary that will make you think about how quickly something can be taken from you and how if you truly believe in something, you should fight for it no matter the odds.
Here is the audio interview with Nancy Buirski:
Official film website click here
Official Facebook page click here
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Official Full Frame Documentary Film Festival site click here
Filmmaker Hope Ryden click here
Photographer Grey Villet click here