Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bridegroom: An Interview with the Filmmaker, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

A quick footnote to my posting last week about Linda Bloodworth-Thomason's wonderful new documentary Bridegroom, focusing on the love story of Tom Bridegroom and Shane Crone: 

At Backlot this week, Louis Virtel interviews Bloodworth-Thomason about the film. I find several of the points she makes very interesting.

First, she notes that the movie is already attracting wide attention, though it hasn't even been officially released yet. And she's amazed that this interest is coming not merely from gay folks, but from people outside the gay community as well. When Virtel asks her if she's surprised at how much interest the public is showing in her film, she replies,

I’m actually just kind of agog. I figured it’d be well-received in the gay community, but I’ve been so encouraged by the massive heterosexual support. I know things are changing really fast, but I didn’t realize how big the tide was. It’s been gratifying.

Second, she notes that in making the documentary, she herself learned how shockingly common the experience of Tom and Shane is: she's learned how frequently the surviving partner or spouse of a gay couple is shunned and abused by the family of the deceased partner/spouse. She states,

I was shocked that there were so many that many people out there who had lived the same experience. They don’t know where their loved ones are buried. They’re treated abysmally by family. On the negative side that shocked me, and on the positive side it’s been so heartwarming to see the numbers of people who want to stand up to this. 

Third, she zeroes in on what may be attracting wide audiences to her movie: it's a love story. In her view, the gay community has not seen its loving relationships celebrated in the media and in artistic venues in the same way that heterosexual relationships are celebrated. In telling Tom and Shane's story, she thinks she's told a story that heterosexuals can envy--and that's a breakthrough of sorts:

I think this is a gay love story that’s important because it shows heterosexuals there’s no difference. I don’t think gays have really had — and when I say "gays," I mean the gay community, I don’t mean to be flippant; I sound like Donald Trump saying "the blacks" — but I do think the gay community was lacking in having this love story that heterosexuals could envy.

This interview is worth reading, and I recommend it to readers interested in the film Bridegroom

The graphic: as I mentioned in my previous posting about Bridegroom, the picture is from the film's website.

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