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Loving

Jeff Nichols

Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who fought all the way to the Supreme Court to have their rights recognised in a landmark case, Loving is a film about love, dignity and respect that’s all the more powerful for being resolutely low-key.

"a film about love, dignity and respect..."

Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Midnight Special) has said that he wanted the style of the film’s storytelling to reflect the quiet determination of this extraordinary couple, who changed the course of American history just by wanting to live together as a family. Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Iona’s Ruth Negga) have to marry in Washington, as their union is illegal in their segregated home state of Virginia. Although they try to make a new life for themselves there, Mildred longs to bring her children up closer to her family, so they return to live secretly in Virginia. Arrested and charged because Richard is white and Mildred is black, the couple face an impossible choice: either permanently leave their home or face a prison sentence. But with their cause taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lovings decide to have their case play out in the highest of courts, allowing a decision about their future to possibly change the law for all Americans.

Despite the important legal battle at the heart of the story, Loving does not mine its drama from lawyers’ arguments or grand monologues. Instead, it captures the terrible injustice the couple faced through tiny personal moments, their unspoken devotion to each other, and their unwavering decency. As a result, the verdict when it comes is even more powerful and moving.