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This documentary is about the 1967 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case
striking down anti-miscegenation statutes as unenforceable under the
I read about Loving v. Virginia in law school and marveled at the bravery of the couple in question (a white man and black woman) who were prosecuted for leaving their home state of Virginia to marry in D.C. and then returning to Virginia where they were harassed by law enforcement and ultimately prosecuted as felons for miscegenation.
The documentary (which consists almost entirely of contemporaneous black and white footage) offers (and needs) little narration as the Lovings and their attorneys describe the events that led to the historical legal ruling.
While interracial marriage attracts little notice in most populous areas of America today, at the time the Lovings were prosecuted (1958) 21 states had anti-miscegenation statutes on their books. (Indeed, notwithstanding the 1967 decision, the last state to repeal its anti-miscegenation law was Alabama in 2000.) I saw the film at the Tribeca Film Festival tonight and as a wonderful bonus, the Lovings' youngest child, Peggy Loving Fortune, appeared and shared her personal feelings and recollections. (Her parents are deceased; Mrs. Mildred Jeter Loving died of pneumonia in 2008, and Mr. Richard Loving died in a automobile accident in 1975.) The film was made in part by HBO, so perhaps HBO will air it at some point.
I just saw "The Loving Story" this afternoon at the Traverse City Film
Festival. The film is moving and inspirational, illustrating that
sometimes even poor and minimally educated people can obtain justice
within our court system. The story is straightforward and the ending is
known, but the still photos and interview footage (some just recently
discovered) of Richard and Mildred Loving shows a very genuine and
touching relationship between them and their 3 children. Their quiet
dignity in the face of racist laws and attitudes is inspirational. The
ACLU once again is shown to be a force for justice to which people
without money or power can turn.
We were not lucky enough to have the Loving's daughter Peggy present (as was the case for aegriffin at Tribeca) but the director and writers Nancy Buirski and Susie Ruth Powell were here for a Q&A. Their story of how this documentary came to be is entertaining and emotional. The idea that this film should have been used (as suggested by another reviewer) as an "opportunity to investigate the legal process" leaves me puzzled. Unless one is an attorney, the film presents as much about the legal process as one would reasonably want to know. It is not a legal treatise, but rather a story of a couple in love who would not back down from what is right, and an affirmation that the US legal system can (in time) bring about a just outcome on some occasions.
Everyone I saw it with gave this documentary their highest rating. You will not regret the time spent viewing this heart-warming slice of civil rights history. Kudos to Ms. Buirski & Powell.
And Ms. Buirski did mention that the documentary will be shown on HBO in February 2012. I certainly plan to watch it again at that time. 9/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Outstanding documentary showing that racially restrictive laws come
from absolute lunatics citing the bible and other references to spew
their hate. Remember, we have only to look at the racial laws of Nazi
Germany in the 1930s to see what a vicious thing can be done to
That the Lovings had to first depend on the state courts to resolve the issue was ridiculous. Anyone knew that this case would ultimately end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The documentary excels because it deals with plain ordinary people caught up in such turbulence during a period that would redefine the civil rights movement in America.
What the law was essentially saying was where such a couple could and could not live. It is frightening that Alabama finally ended its misogyny laws in 2011.
A tale of racial bigotry at its worst with Richard and Mildred Loving as trailblazers.
The love these two people had for one another was genuinely real, and
watching them and their beautiful children in the archival footage
tugged at your heartstrings. I watched this documentary when it was
first shown on HBO, and thought it was engrossing. I was 20 yrs. old
when this case was finally decided, and I remember it vaguely. I lived
in the North and had known that interracial marriage was illegal in the
South, but never realized that couples were actually persecuted and
jailed as the Loving couple were. The young ACLU lawyers who took the
case are shown interacting with the couple in the l960's, and they also
add present day commentary.
This is not meant to be a documentary about the legal machinations of the case (altho some of that is explained); but It's a compelling story about the human aspects of the case.
The Loving Story (2011)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Richard and Mildred Loving were simple folks from Virginia who found themselves in jail and forced to move out of the state. All of this was due to him being a white man and her being a black woman, which at the time was against the law. This documentary covers this period in their life as well as the Supreme Court ruling, which would change history.
This story was turned into a motion picture in 2016 and while that film was quite good, this documentary is certainly the better of the two. What makes this one here so interesting is that we get interviews with some of the police that arrested the Loving's as well as interviews with the lawyers who took their case to the Supreme Court. We also get interviews with the Loving family, which were recorded as all of this was actually going on.
If you're interested in the subject then there's no question that you'll be entertained by this documentary. The filmmakers did a very good job at explaining what the laws were at the time as well as the entire process of getting the case to the Supreme Court. The interviews with the original lawyers was certainly a major plus as were the archival interviews with the Loving family.
This HBO documentary is about a famous case that went to the Supreme Court back in the 1960s. It seems that Mr. and Mrs. Loving were different races and, believe it or not, back in 1958 when they married, such a mixed marriage was illegal in almost half the states in the US! The story about Mr. and Mrs. Loving is very, very compelling. You can't help but be pulled into the film because they were so wronged by the state of Virginia. And, I loved the movie dramatization about them ("Mrs. and Mrs. Loving"). However, "The Loving Story" is good but flawed--mostly because the folks at HBO forgot to caption the film. While this always irritates me (since my daughter is deaf and I am somewhat hard of hearing), it's more of a problem here because many of the clips used were old and heavily accented--and many folks would struggle to understand all of this. Being a Southern American would make understanding the accents easier. Overall, well worth seeing--but a bit flawed due to sound issues.
The Lovings were plaintiffs in an interesting & important case involving interracial marriage that,in the end, went to the US Supreme Court and changed history. Unfortunately, HBO has taken this story and made a terrible documentary of their story and the case. Actual footage of the Lovings and those in their story is used throughout the movie These are "home movies" in the worst sense - nothing much happens, the sound is terrible and it appears the movie makers insisted on using EVERY scrap of this footage, unedited and regardless of whether something was happening or not. There is no narration and this footage is left to "tell the story" along with a few segments of comments from today by the ACLU lawyers and Lovings' daughter. The Problem is that the way "the story unfolds" thru the footage is SLOW, boring, drawn out and irritating experience to watch. For years, I have been interested in the Lovings' case and their story. I have seen a TV movie about them and their case. I was interested to see actual footage of the real people during their ordeal - but after 5 or ten minutes i was truly bored What a wasted opportunity to make an important and great documentary
We have all been disturbed by the racial discrimination in the 50's and 60's (as we continue to be disturbed about discrimination today) and this movie did not educate us to any of the many nuances that could have made this an interesting compelling movie. There was nothing that set it apart from documentaries, about the same subject, that have preceded it. Sadly, the opportunity to investigate the legal process was glossed over. The movie took the easy way out by relying on archived home movies to tell the story. An investigation of the attorneys and their process in this case would have been enlightening, informative and infinitely more interesting. An important story to tell was unfortunately told in an uninteresting way. Very disappointing.
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