By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Friedman, owner of the Rose Theatre, will screen the film in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, and while there's no charge for admission to the 1 p.m. showing, the Rose isn't a big place, so moviegoers are encouraged to pick up free tickets — maximum two per person — in advance at the theater, 235 Taylor St.
“The Loving Story,” made in 2011, follows Mildred and Richard Loving, whose marriage was illegal in their home state of Virginia.
It was 1958; Mildred was black and Native American, her husband was white, and they refused to bend to the anti-miscegenation law.
Their case went before the U.S. Supreme Court, where, nine years later, laws against interracial marriage were struck down across the United States.
“The Loving Story,” in its 77 minutes, reveals newly discovered footage of Mildred, Richard and their attorneys, along with first-person testimony and rare photographs.
“Loving” is a timely story, its director Nancy Buirski believes, as same-sex couples struggle for lawful marriage in the remaining 41 U.S. states where gay marriage is illegal.
That struggle and the Lovings' story are both about human rights, the director has said.
When asked about his decision to offer the free screening, Friedman recalled the year 1968.
“I was 15 years old when Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated,” he said.
“While I was too immature to appreciate and actively participate in the counterculture movement or protests over the Vietnam War, I do remember being profoundly affected by the death of these two men.
“Many years ago, I came across a documentary called 'The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till,'” about the trial following the lynching of a 14-year-old black boy who whistled at a white woman.
Friedman screened it on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, free.
“Ever since then, I've kept my eye out for another suitable movie,” he said, and “The Loving Story” was it.
The movie is “just such a personal piece,” Friedman said, “about two people in love.”
To learn more about the documentary, see www.LovingFilm.com, and to watch the trailer, see www.RoseTheatre.com.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.