When his partner Cody dies in a car accident, Joey learns that their son, Chip, has been willed to Cody's sister. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are.
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In the town of Martin, Tennessee, Chip Hines, a precocious six year old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. And a good life it is. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody's will reveals that he named his sister as Chip's guardian. The years of Joey's acceptance into the family unravel as Chip is taken away from him. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are. Armed with their comfort and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and becomes closer to his son. Written by
Joey's lack of medical or legal recourse after his romantic partner Cody's death is based in fact. Many real-life gay couples in the US have found themselves in similarly difficult circumstances in hospitals after one of them had a serious injury or developed a grave illness. One instance that garnered a great deal of media coverage, outrage, and legal action was the case of domestic partners Lisa Pond and Janice Langbehn. In 2007, Langbehn and Pond, who had been together almost two decades, traveled with three of their four children from their home in Washington State to Florida, where Pond had an aneurysm. Although the couple had drawn up legal documents to try to make official their relationship in lieu of legally recognized marriage (including health care proxies and a durable power of attorney), the hospital denied Langbehn any right to make health care decisions for Pond or even to see her (a hospital social worker told Langbehn, "I need you to know this is an anti-gay city and a anti-gay state, and you are not going to get to see her or know her condition.") Langbehn and their children were not allowed to see Pond before she died. Langbehn's subsequent suit against the hospital was unsuccessful, but the case did lead to an April 2010 directive from President Obama to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to prohibit visitation discrimination in all hospitals receiving Medicaid or Medicare funding. President Obama awarded Langbehn a 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal for "transform[ing] her own profound loss into a resounding call for compassion and equality." See more »
I Ain't Leaving Without You
Written and performed by Chip Taylor
Produced by Chip Taylor
Courtesy of Train Wreck Records
By arrangement with Back Road Music Inc. (BMI) and EMI Kusic Publishing See more »
Patrick Wang focuses the image in a way that allows the viewer to imagine the other spaces not shown on screen. He also carefully selects each frame to reveal or obscure what is relevant to each moment. I have no other term for it but 360 degree acting. And included in this acting ensemble are architecture, objects, sounds, the movement of dust.
What startles too is the amount of time taken to get to know people. I can tell that the actors know this time will be taken, that their portraits will unfold in a more natural way because I saw them relax and actually find responses that at times startled them (themselves). Perhaps this is the greatest homage to actors an actor/ director/ writer can give.
In the accumulation of moments, I felt like I knew this house, I knew what it was to spend time with these people, with this young boy 'Chip', and so when moments such as the trial opened up or we see Joey (Wang)'s shoulders and back of head while he's making a book, emotion came up in me in a subtler way. My experience was less one of spectator and more one of someone who was a friend of this character. At one point, I did utter aloud in reference to Chip, 'please let him come home' in my living room viewing this film all by myself!
I was reading an interview with Alexander Payne in Film Comment recently and he said something like 'we have no idea yet what a film could be'. I think that Mr. Wang has taken his opportunity and really produced something he himself understands and we all must see. I'm thrilled that the film has been made.
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