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‘Loving’ provides history lesson for viewers

By Konrad Wolfl

'Loving' is based on a true story. Photo courtesy of
‘Loving’ is based on a true story.
Photo courtesy of

The film “Loving” depicts the true story of a white man,  Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), and his African American  wife, Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga) as they try to overcome the racial and discriminatory laws of their time. The movie was very similar to the actual story and does a beautiful job of bringing out the emotion of the characters in their time of sorrow and struggle.

Richard and Mildred Loving were married on July 11, 1958 and were detained soon after their marriage due to the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 which prohibited the marriage of “whites and colored people” in the state of Virginia. The court offered the option of freedom but in exchange, the couple would have to leave the state for 25 years. The Lovings were unwillingly forced away from their friends, family, and home.

Jeff Nichols, the writer and director of “Loving,” does an excellent job portraying the tension in between each scene. The beginning of the movie has a very peaceful yet subtle atmosphere that represents the tranquil lifestyle the Lovings enjoyed at that moment.

As the Lovings are soon uprooted from that position and detained unwillingly, Nichols does a good job conveying the tense atmosphere and panicked emotions. Understanding racial discriminations of the time is a key aspect to comprehending the situation the movie sets the couple in.

At a time of chaotic and violent relations between whites and blacks, the Lovings were a unique sight to see.  The actors do a great job displaying the affection and care the couple have for each other. It is important to get across to the audience the feelings of the couple that racial discrimination and laws would not put a stop to their love.

Having grown up in a conservative, somewhat closed off world, I was not particularly aware of the horrors and struggles that mixed race couples had to go through to be together. This movie is a great portrayal and reminder of the pains the couples like the Lovings had to endure.

Luckily, with the backing and support of friends,family,fellow victims, and higher officials like Robert F. Kennedy, the Lovings were able to get unanimous support from the Supreme Court in 1967 ultimately wiping away one of the last segregation laws that the nation had.

The movie is, overall, a heartwarming story of two people overcoming obstacles for the sake of love. While its main aspect is romance, the thrill and exhilaration you get from watching the journey of the Lovings is enough to quench any moviegoer’s thirst for entertainment. Every emotion the Lovings feel or act upon at that moment portrays itself through the movie screen and reflects unto the audience.

Using the case of the Lovings as a backing, the civil rights movement was able to take a step forward in promoting the bonding and marriage of white and colored people in the states of America. The love and care the Lovings share for each other became an indispensable aspect of the movement to end discrimination within the United States.

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