|Richard and Mildred Loving Photo by Find A Grave|
On Valentines Day 2017, my wife Candice and I watched the movie "Loving" in a theater. This movie has had one nomination for Ruth Negga for the Oscar for Best Actress In A Leading Role which was the only Oscar nomination for the movie. The film has been quietly and persistently well reviewed and has been moderately successful in the theaters. But it ranks barely in the top 75 money grossing movies of the year at this point and is likely to fall lower as the year goes on and more mass market money machines hit the big screen. But earnings or Oscar nominations were not the motivation for our attendance. The story the movie tells is why we went and why every Appalachian and American movie buff ought to see this movie. You should also see this movie even if you hate movies but care about human rights. "Loving" tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple in Virginia, who married in 1958 in violation of the miscegenation law in Virginia at that time. They actually had to travel to Washington, DC, in order to get the ceremony performed. Shortly after their marriage, they were arrested in Caroline County Virginia and eventually took a plea agreement by which they were sentenced to one year each in prison which was suspended and they had to agree to leave the state of Virginia and not to return together for twenty-five years. In compliance with the sentencing agreement, they left Virginia and moved to Washington, DC, for several years.
The movie is presented as much as a love story as it is as a historical or political story. The acting and the cinematography are both deliberately low key and the acting is both powerful and understated. The tensions of the time are seen in the faces and body language of the actors more so than in voice volume, timbre, or inflection. It is a beautiful powerful piece of work on the part of everyone involved. It is well worth seeing and I recommend it highly. I also would like to remind my readers of just how many earth shattering legal cases the ACLU has been involved in since their creation in 1920. This organization is the most important guardian of civil and human rights in America. At this time, they are under attack from the radical right and need your help morally, socially, and financially more than at any time in their history with the one possible exception being during the McCarthy Communist Witch Hunt during the 1950's. Join the ACLU, make a donation, support them publicly and privately. They have been protecting you since before you were born. In today's political environment, you, your family, your ethnicity, your social group could become the next victim of a Right Wing Radical attack.