Loving Parent Review
Based on the real 1967 case of Loving vs. Virginia, this movie offers solid performances and masterful production design that take us back to this important time in history.
White men have been getting black women pregnant since the dawn of slavery. But heaven pity the white man foolish enough to try to make an honest woman out of the black expectant mother.
Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) is one such fool. Although white, he hangs out with the blacks in his community of Caroline County and has a black girlfriend (Ruth Negga). When Mildred (nicknamed Bean) tells him she is with child, he is happy to marry her. Unfortunately for them, their home state of Virginia prohibits interracial unions. So, on June 2, 1958, the couple makes the short drive to Washington DC and ties the knot there.
This quiet decision made by an equally quiet pair doesn’t stay quiet for long. Soon the police are raiding their home in the middle of the night and dragging the newlyweds off to jail. The best plea bargain their lawyer (Bill Camp) can arrange to keep them from being locked up is to have the Lovings agree to leave the state for the next 25 years. For Mildred, the forced separation from home and extended family still feels like a prison sentence.
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Over the next few years, as the two live in exile in Washington DC, the whole country becomes more and more caught up in the Civil Rights Movement. Taking some hope that the tide might be changing in their favor, Mildred writes to the Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy, and is referred to Bernard Cohen (Nick Kroll), a lawyer representing the American Civil Liberties Union. Eventually he and Philip J. Hirschkop (Jon Bass) take their case all the way to the supreme court.
Based on the real 1967 case of
Examining the marriage of Richard and Mildred Loving means taking a closer look at social norms too. Why was society willing to overlook sexual activity between races (often carried on without the consent of both parties) and leave unwed mothers to raise children alone, but opposed to the idea of solemnizing consensual mixed-race relationships with marriage so both parents could take responsibility for their offspring? Perhaps the strangest part of this true story is that a shy man who loved his timid wife would be the pair that ultimately changed the constitution of the United States of America.Directed by Jeff Nichols. Starring Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton. Running time: 123 minutes. Updated December 2, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Loving here.
Loving Parents Guide
In what ways are Richard and Mildred ordinary people? In what ways are they extraordinary? Why do you think they were motivated to take their case to court? How did involving the media help their cause?