Daily News header

The Loving Story Film Review

By     get stories by email

Civil Rights Documentary Recounts Landmark Supreme Court Decision on Interracial Marriage

Soon after Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving tied the knot in Washington, DC on June 2, 1958, they decided to move back to their tiny hometown of Central Point, Virginia to settle down and start a family. The groom, a bricklayer by trade, even purchased a plot of land where he promised to build his bride a house.

However, Virginia was one of 24 states where interracial marriage was still illegal because of racist laws designed to rob minorities of their dignity and to keep them in a lower social and economic status. Since Richard was white and Mildred was a mix of black and Native-American, it was just a matter of time before the local sheriff would catch wind of their illicit liaison and crack down on the felons like a ton of bricks.

loving
Mildred and Richard Loving. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
And in the middle of the night, he and a posse broke down the door, dragging the newlyweds off to jail while threatening to rape Mildred. Given that this was Virginia during the disgraceful days of Jim Crow, the Lovings were, of course, ultimately found guilty and each given a one-year sentence for the crime of marrying across the color line.

As their appeal dragged on, Mildred wrote to then Attorney General Bobby Kennedy for help avoiding incarceration. He declined, but suggested she approach the American Civil Liberties Union, which did decide to take the case.

"Just tell the Supreme Court I love my wife," Richard directed the ACLU attorneys as they prepared to argue before Chief Justice Warren and his associates. In the historic Loving v. Virginia decision handed down on June 12, 1967, the Lovings' convictions were overturned and their union finally garnered the blessing and government protection that had so eluded them for almost a decade.

All of the above is recounted in heartbreaking fashion in The Loving Story, a combination biopic and courtroom drama directed by Nancy Buirski. What makes the film so touching are the reams of archival footage of the unfortunate couple at the center of the controversy.

For the lovebirds are so young and so innocent, it's hard to fathom why anyone would even seek to separate let alone imprison them. A moving, must-see documentary about the Lovings' belated vindication and the elimination of one of the last vestiges of segregation.

Could it be more fitting that the litigants in the landmark case eradicating the crime of loving a person of a different color would be named Loving!

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 77 minutes

Distributor: Icarus Films

To see a trailer for The Loving Story:

In NYC, The Loving Story opens 12/10 at the Maysles Cinema.

See: http://www.mayslesinstitute.org/cinema/calendar.htm

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer, Kam Williams sums up this moving memoir as a remarkable testament to the indomitability of the human spirit as well as a mighty reminder why the evils of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the film, 'White or Blace' 3 stars and says it is very good. To sum it up, he says the film is about White and Black grandparents clash in a courtroom drama.
Movie and celebrity interviewer Kam Williams chats with Kevin Costner about his new film, 'The Black or White' and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Prairie Miller interviews UK Director Kevin Macdonald about his new movie, Black Sea on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the film, 'The Imitation Game' which is a life story of unsung hero for cracking Nazi Code.
The detours along this suburban noir road movie are endlessly convoluted, peppered with such richly conceived verbal literary abandon, that all is forgiven.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site