The Case Against 8
Casey De La Rosa
Our country woke up to some good news today: The Supreme Court ruled that marriage is legal for gay and lesbian couples in all 50 states. It’s an unprecedented level of support for gay and lesbian Americans (many of whom grew up in times and places that offered no support whatsoever), offering definitive proof that attitudes are changing.
Today’s news was a long time coming. In the more than three decades that the Sundance Film Festival has offered a platform for the most pressing issues of our time, we’ve showcased the work of many independent filmmakers whose activism came in the form of showing the treatment of gays and lesbians. We’re highlighting below just a few of these, and there are certainly many more that brought us to this major milestone. To all of the artists who have chronicled, contributed to, and ultimately catalyzed our country’s progress, we thank you.
Whether you’re gay or straight, take a moment today to think about how lucky we are to live in a country where we can love openly and proudly. Isn’t that the real American Dream?
The Case Against 8 (2014)
Directors: Ben Cotner & Ryan White
When Proposition 8 overturned same-sex marriage in California, two gay couples and an unlikely legal dream team led the years-long charge to get it struck down. This doc offers a behind-the-scenes look inside the historic case at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, laying the legal and political groundwork for today’s nationwide ruling. Watch it now.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010)
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
In this funny and smart film from the brilliant Lisa Cholodenko, a lesbian couple and their teenage children in Southern California show what is for many gays and lesbians the new normal: being in love, having a family and trying not to mess it all up. Watch it now.
The Times of Harvey Milk (1985)
Director: Rob Epstein
Early gay-rights activist Harvey Milk issued a wake-up call to this country that gays, lesbians and their allies were ready for equality and willing to speak up about it. With Rob Epstein’s beautifully constructed and poignant documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, those of us who came of age after his work but still benefit from it on a daily basis can see for ourselves how he put his life on the line to start a grassroots movement. Watch it now.
Longtime Companion (1990)
Director: Norman Rene
Longtime Companion offers the incredibly rare balance of being sensitive while also unflinching in its portrayal of the devastating personal effects of the AIDS crisis on the gay community — especially the friends, loved ones and so-called “longtime companions” of those living with AIDS. Yes, you will cry, and yes, you need to see this. Watch it now.
Larry Kramer in Love and Anger (2015)
Director: Jean Carlomusto
Author and activist Larry Kramer is known for being full of righteous fury about the early AIDS crisis: the willful inaction of the government and the refusal of the gay community to curb potentially risky behaviors. Vilified by some and lionized by others in the 30 years since, Kramer’s story shows his experience on the frontline of the battle against AIDS and his enduring legacy as a controversial figure in the gay rights movement. (BTW, this premieres on HBO Monday so hack your parents’ HBO Go account and check it out.)