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The Case Against 8 Movie Review

Title: The Case Against 8

Director: Ben Cotner & Ryan White

Starring: Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, David Boies, Ted Olson

Love is love. And the Cotner-White documentary attests this through a powerful emotional account of the journey that took the fight for marriage equality all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

‘The Case Against 8’ takes a riveting inside look at the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that overturned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Ben Cotner and Ryan White provide a resourceful and authentic snapshot of what it took to accomplish this. The high-profile trial first made headlines with the unlikely pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing attorneys in Bush vs. Gore. But as well as the lawyers’ work, the movie also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the centre of the same-sex marriage controversy. Five years in the making, this is the story of how they took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo and the powerhouse legal team will move audiences without any hint of melodrama whatsoever. There is no attempt to portray homosexual couples as victims of a witch-hunt. But the facts show how for many years two consolidated couples of homosexuals wanted to be legally united and the law wouldn’t allow them. Kris Perry and Sandy Stier have a family, they raised four sons together in the course of a life-time, whereas Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo’s respectful and loving relationship proves to be more solid than many professed by those heterosexuals who marry and divorce over and over again. These four gay individuals committed to their loved ones and deserved to have a legal acknowledgement as any other couple that believes in the values of marriage.

The journey was long but successful. The number 8 (of the Proposition), pertinently evokes the lemniscate (the infinity symbol), since the case against the California ban on same-sex marriage seems never ending. But since number 8 in certain cultures is considered lucky, it definitely will prove to be propitious.

Technical: B

Story: A

Overall: A-

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

‘The Case Against 8’ will be released in select New York and Los Angeles theatres on Friday, June 6th, expanding to select cities on June 13. On Monday, June 23rd it will debut on HBO, coinciding with the first anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.

The Case Against 8 Movie Review

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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