Shane Bitney Crone's plans to marry Tom Bridegroom in California after the same-sex marriage law is passed takes a tragic turn when his partner of six years accidentally dies and Tom's family refuses Shane from attending the funeral.
BRIDEGROOM tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship - a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death - of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized - is poignant, enraging, and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will. On May 7, 2012, the anniversary of Tom's death, after a year of documenting his own grief, Shane decided to make a video tribute to his partner entitled "It Could Happen To You." This film, posted on YouTube, received over 3.2 million hits and inspired over 50 thousand e-mails and comments on YouTube and Facebook. The impact of Shane's original film and the raw nerve it touched, tells us this is an important story that needs to be brought to the world stage.Written by
This movie was introduced at the Tribeca Film Festival by former President Bill Clinton, a longtime friend of the movie's director, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. In his introduction, Clinton said: "This is really, on one level, a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story. And on another level, it's a story about our nation's struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance." See more »
I think at the end of the day the nurses knew, you know, it's not a gay thing, it's not a straight thing, it's a human thing.
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For a while, I felt interested but a bit removed. Certainly the story is tragic, but there are so many tragic tales in the world. Certainly any homophobia is horrific, but when there are still gay men being lynched, this story seemed not nearly as dramatic and shocking as others. And its style is basic – talking head interviews with friends and family, home videos, photographs.
I thought (in my smug liberal way) that its good for the country to see a film showing how normal, likable and in love two young men could be. But this wasn't news to me. It felt rudimentary, aimed at those who had never known a gay couple and realized 'hey, they're just people'.
But then something strange happened. In the film's last half hour it built into an emotional tidal wave. I didn't realize I was hit until I suddenly started to cry. These two men were so deeply, sweetly in love, and Shane Crone, rather than simply crawl into a shell after the untimely death of the love of his life, and after being barred from the funeral by the homophobic family, and dealt many other emotional (and legal) cuts and bruises only because he and his life partner were gay, managed to rally himself, and make a you tube video that has reached millions with an impossible to argue with plea for gay marriage. That he could take this devastating loss, add mistreatment, and instead of giving up on life do something important and life affirming was profoundly affecting. Suddenly the whole film seemed to have more weight. I wept through the very moving responses his video (the one that got me is a self proclaimed life-long redneck, vowing to never oppose gay lovers again). Even the end credits full of thousands of names of those who cared enough to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign for the film moved me with joy for the resilience of human beings, the fact that things are getting better, and that love is still the most powerful thing in the human experience, both in personal and political terms.
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