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The Freedom to Marry Movie Review

Title: The Freedom the Marry

Director: Eddie Rosenstein

Starring: Evan Wolfson (Founder/President, Freedom to Marry), Mary Bonauto (Civil Rights Attorney, GLAD) and Marc Solomon (National Campaign Director, Freedom to Marry)

Finding the love of their life can become a daunting task for many people, as they must search for someone who truly understands and accepts their beliefs. But finding that special person can sometimes just be half the battle, as they then had to fight to have their love recognized by their government. That was certainly the case with gay Americans, who up until mid-2015, couldn’t legally marry in all 50 American states, and have their union be fully recognized by all aspects of the government. In the new documentary, ‘The Freedom to Marry,’ which was directed and executive produced by Eddie Rosenstein, powerfully showcases how the law can no longer stand in any American’s path to being with the person they truly love, and who completely understands them.

Argot Pictures is set to release ‘The Freedom to Marry’ in New York City’s Village East Cinema today, as well as in the Laemmle Monica theater in Los Angeles next Friday, March 10. The theatrical release comes after the documentary won numerous accolades on the festival circuit, including at the Savannah Film Festival, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the Three Rivers Film Festival, the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

‘The Right to Marry’ is an intimate and epic documentary that goes behind-the-scenes to reveal the inner workings and key leaders of the historic civil rights battle. The movie follows Evan Wolfson, the man known as architect of the movement, as well as civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto and their colleagues, as they all bring their battle to the United States Supreme Court.

The documentary shows that Freedom to Marry, which was the name of the organization that Wolfson founded, as he worked to achieve marriage equality for all Americans. Also as the president of the organization, Wolfson is shown working with his staff in their office in New York City, during the few months before the case to legalize gay marriage nationwide was brought in front of the Supreme Court.

In addition to chronicling Wolfson and Bonauto’s struggles to legalize gay marriage in the months before the Supreme Court hearing, the documentary also features interviews with their friends and family, and photos and clips from their work. The interviews and footage chronicle the activists’ personal and professional battles since they first began working to help all gay couples achieve their basic human rights, and have their love recognized by the law.

Throughout the compelling narrative of ‘The Freedom to Marry,’ Rosenstein powerfully crafted a visually and emotional stunning exploration into Wolfson and his colleague’s battle to secure legal representation and security for gay couples. Through his extensive work as a documentary director and cinematographer, the filmmaker effortlessly worked with his Directors of Photography, Claudia Raschke and Robert Richman, to present an enriching insight into Wolfson and Bonauto’s lives. That observation offers viewers a clear understanding of why they fought for decades to help legalize gay marriage. The filmmakers also recorded equally emotional and humorous interviews with the lawyers and their colleagues, friends and relatives that powerfully offer a clear understanding on why and how they became some of the movement’s most influential pioneers.

While several of Wolfson’s friends and family members in Pittsburgh, including his parents, Joan and Jerry, fondly remember thinking that the attorney was going to become a successful gay rights advocate before he even left home, Rosenstein compellingly kept ‘The Freedom to Marry’ balanced and unbiased. Not only did the director use commanding images of Wolfson while he was diligently at work, the helmer also smartly incorporated responses from the lawyer’s opponents in the documentary.

Since most Americans have a strong and steadfast view on the legalization of gay marriage at the national level, Rosenstein also featured memorable interviews and clips of such people as Judge Roy Moore, who serves as a Chief Justice in the Alabama Supreme Court. The attorney’s opponents, including the judge, discuss why they don’t agree with Wolfson and his colleagues’ fight to extend marriage benefits. Many viewers will consequently find someone they can relate to and agree with in the film, and feel as though their views are represented, while also gaining an insight into all viewpoints on the subject.

‘The Freedom to Marry’ offers a captivating insight into the brave and noteworthy work that Wolfson, Bonauto and their colleagues across America put into helping the legalization of gay marriage pass through the Supreme Court. Rosenstein smartly mixed the every day tasks the lawyers and advocates put into their successful campaign with interviews of the people who know them best, as well as clips of their achievements that they garnered throughout their movement. Also through its dynamic and unbiased showcase of the attorneys and advocates’ opponents’ own beliefs and crusade, ‘The Freedom to Marry’ is an essential documentation America’s most important campaigns to secure equal rights for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Technical: B

Story: B+

Overall: B+

Watch the official trailer for ‘The Freedom to Marry’ below. For more information on the documentary, visit its official website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Freedom to Marry Trailer from Eyepop Productions on Vimeo.

(L-R): Evan Wolfon and Mary Bonauto in director Eddie Rosenstein’s documentary, ‘The Freedom to Marry.’

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As a life-long fan of entertainment, particularly films, television and music, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic. While still attending college, Karen began writing for Shockya during the summer of 2007, when she began writing horror movie reviews. Since she began writing for Shockya, Karen has been promoted to the position of Senior Movies & Television Editor. Some of her duties in the position include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, producing posts on celebrity news and contributing reviews on albums and concerts. Some of her highlights include attending such festivals and conventions as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto After Dark, the Boston Film Festival and New York Comic-Con.

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