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USA Theatrical Premiere Of 'The Loving Story' (On Case That Overturned Interracial Marriage Ban)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 6, 2012 10:56 AM
7 Comments
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Loving

Directed by Nancy BuirskiThe Loving Story centers on a real-life story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in the state of Virginia where interracial coupling was illegal, and their struggles, including the US Supreme Court case named after them - Loving vs Virginia (1967), the landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, unconstitutional, overturning existing laws and bringing an official end to all race-based restrictions on marriage in the United States.  

Persecuted by a local sheriff, the Lovings were found guilty of violating Virginia's law against interracial marriage and forced to leave the state. But Mildred Loving chose to fight. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asking for help. He referred her to the ACLU and two young attorneys took the case.

Drawing on extensive archival footage, and on contemporary interviews with the family and the attorneys, the film vividly brings a monumental court case to life.

The film was shortlisted for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.

The HBO co-production, which toured the film festival circuit over the last year, debuted on HBO in February 2012; and will now get a limited US theatrical run in New York City, at Maysles CinemaDecember 10-16, 2012.

The perfect place for The Loving Story to make its U.S. theatrical premiere is at The Maysles Cinema,” states Program Director Jessica Green. “The history of race equality and marriage equality is ideally explored and discussed in one of the most diverse and politically engaged neighborhoods in the world, at a serious all-documentary cinema with an audience like no other.

This program is part of a bi-monthly Maysles Cinema series, Documentary in Bloom: New Films, presented by Livia Bloom, which highlights challenging, controversial, and thought-provoking new documentaries of outstanding artistic merit. 

Watch this 1967 4-minute report on the couple's case (and underneath you'll find the trailer):

And here's the doc's trailer:

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7 Comments

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  • JMac | November 7, 2012 12:47 PMReply

    What history book are you reading from? FD married twice - one black and white. There was a lot of controversy surrounding his interracial marriage and if he had been further south it would have almost certainly been challenged by state governments and probably worse (if it hadn't been where he was living). Jack Johnson was thrown in jail for "trafficking white women" and again being up North was to his advantage. Regardless, your logic is off. May as well say that since some blacks up north attended schools with whites [and some blacks even attended white ivy league universities like W.E.B. Dubois] that Brown v. Board and its companion lawsuits weren't important. Freedom isn't what SOME can do in some places, it's what everyone can do wherever they live.

  • Brent | November 7, 2012 12:12 PMReply

    Frederick Douglas married two white women in the 19th century. And Jack Johnson married two white women in the early 20th century. Neither marriage was challenged, nor challengeable. Amazing to see the re-writing of history, as if there were no interracial marriages until this one. This was merely one where two people in a peculiarly hardline-bigoted area challenged a group of local bigoted policies. But to declare this as some sort of watershed or breakthrough is bad history and worse a lie.

  • Melissaenafrique | November 7, 2012 7:27 AMReply

    I would like to watch a documentary on the unprosecuted, unspoken Jim Crow atrocities that black women faced namely sexual violence. That would put this Loving Case into eerie context and make it even more significant. Perhaps a combined adaptation of Danielle McGuire's At the Dark End of The Street and Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns- both detailing to different extents, what really happened to black women and the consequences. They were not fighting to sit on the bus or marry a white man. They were fighting to have a right to their own bodies.

  • B | November 6, 2012 2:03 PMReply

    enough already

  • turner | November 6, 2012 2:19 PM

    @B-WTF?

  • M. | November 6, 2012 1:29 PMReply

    I've actually seen the film in full and it is a marvelous story. Super excited for it to be in theaters!

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