Parents' Guide to

The Loving Story

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Love story that led to Supreme Court case; racist language.

Movie NR 2011 77 minutes
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While the legal dramas that unfold in this documentary are certainly compelling, it's the Lovings themselves who remain in the viewers' memories. The archival footage of Richard and Mildred Loving in their home with their kids in rural Virginia inherently reveals the deep love they held for each other. It's a profound love that's enough to override their natural disinclination to be thrust into the national spotlight, a love that communicates so much more to the viewer than the legalese of Loving v Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that, finally, overturned racist state laws that made interracial marriage a crime.

While the story of the Loving v Virginia case is an interesting story in and of itself, The Loving Story spends just as much time on the love Richard and Mildred had for each other, and by doing so, it reminds us of how ordinary citizens can bring about change simply by acting on the courage of their desires for basic freedoms. The Lovings were not gifted orators, weren't protesting on the streets. They were a married couple very much in love who wanted the right to be married in their own home state in their community, with their families and friends. The Loving Story beautifully renders this aspect of this historic moment in Civil Rights, and these moments of pure affection that they share while caught on camera is revealed to be so much more powerful than the screaming of racists and a judicial system that codified and upheld this racism for far too long.

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