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What do you think is the relevance of the Lovings’ story today, in 2011? This is not just a civil rights story, it’s a human rights story.And we are talking about the freedom to choose who you love and who you can marry and clearly there are relevant concerns around those issues today in gay marriage rights. Philip Hirschkop [one of the Lovings’ attorneys] said recently that the fear and the prejudice that pervades our society today is a reminder of what the Lovings went through, and even though they prevailed, there’s nothing that could give them back their nine years of exile and separation from their family.
The filmmakers recreate their story through interviews with their friends, community members and the attorneys fighting their case.
The ruling deemed the anti-miscegenation laws in effect in 16 states at the time unconstitutional.
However, it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until the year 2000 to officially remove language prohibiting interracial marriage from their state constitutions.
“The Loving Story” is making the film festival rounds this year and will air on HBO in February 2012.
I spoke with Buirski after the film’s Tribeca screening this week. I came across an obituary on Mildred Loving in 2008 and I realized when reading the story that she had an incredible life.
I think the thing that connects the two situations, in 19, is the thing that motivates a lot of people to try to stop people from marrying—the intolerance and the prejudice that bubbles up in 2011, not only about gay marriage but even about immigrant reform. I believe that fear was a motivating factor when the Lovings were arrested and I believe fear is also a motivating factor in the intolerance that we see in society today. She likes to think of herself as a kind of rainbow, mixed, she feels it’s important that people recognize her mixed-race heritage and she’s very proud of it. You really just have to believe in the story and believe in the way you want to tell the story.
Can you tell us more about Peggy Loving, the couple’s only surviving daughter? And I think the most important thing was recognizing the value of the footage that we had and the photographs, and because we had such intimate material, allowing the Lovings to tell their own story.Because it was a landmark civil rights case and yet…I think there were a number of other landmark cases and changes that were taking place just prior to this, and they tended to overtake this one because, you know, you had voting rights, you had Brown vs.Is there anything else you wanted to say about the film?[The film’s editor] Elisabeth Haviland James and and I both felt a real obligation to bring this story to a really wide audience and the fact that the depth of the story, the real story about this couple and their love have been overlooked for so many years.We really felt a commitment to bring this to a wider audience and we’re very grateful that we’re getting the response that we’re getting.