Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Movie Reviews: Bridegroom (2013)

Director: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

Writer: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

Starring: Thomas Bridegroom, Shane Bitney Crone, Michaela Myers

Documentary produced by Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women, Evening Shade) uses video diaries, Youtube videos, and old photos along with new on-camera interviews to tell the story of Shane Bitney Crone and his boyfriend, Tom Bridegroom, and the aftermath when Tom’s family refused to allow Shane to attend Tom’s funeral after his tragic accidental death.

It’s amazing how much original footage so many young people have of their lives today. Not just photos, but actually videos showing their inner thoughts at the moment they were occurring. That footage gives Bridegroom an immediacy the documentary desperately needs. Had the documentary been forced to rely on interviews and old photos, it’s hard to imagine it being so impactful.

I do wish Tom’s family had agreed to appear on camera, but that’s no fault of the film’s producers: they were invited, and perhaps their silence is damning enough.

Bridegroom made the film festival circuit in 2013 and was released in L.A. theaters just long enough to qualify for the Oscars (and the Cosmos!). It just had its network premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network and is now available through Amazon and Netflix.

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