February 14, 2012

A big picture of the Lovings

'The Loving Story' premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on HBO

PLATTSBURGH — Archival-film footage chronicling Richard and Mildred Loving's nine-year battle to have their marriage legitimized in their native Virginia is at the heart of today's HBO premiere, "The Loving Story."

The documentary's director/producer Nancy Buirski and producer/editor Elisabeth Haviland James met at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2007.

At the time, James had just moved to North Carolina, where Buirski lives and founded Full Frame. A week later, they did lunch.

"She showed me the 16mm she had just unearthed," James said. "I saw that footage (of Richard and Mildred Loving). I knew I had to be involved."


The footage had been shot by cinematographer Abbott Mills many years earlier, she said, with a producer named Hope Ryden, who'd wanted to make a film about the couple.

"Hope Ryden had read a little clip from someplace that had turned her on to the Lovings' story," James said.

Ryden approached attorneys Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, who'd represented the couple in the U.S. Supreme Court case, to see if she could get access to the family.

"They went back and forth," James said. "They decided she was trustworthy."

Mills and Ryden went to Caroline County, Va., where they shot intimate footage of the interracial couple in classic cinéma-vérité style.

"You don't see that anymore," James said. "It's such a rare document of history. It's not done in television-movie style. It was intended to be made into a film. Forty-four years later, we unearthed that. Hope is one of the unsung heroes."

She was unable to complete the project herself.

"She was a woman," James said. "She couldn't get the backing."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
World News
Local Videos

Editors Picks
Hot Videos Now
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Raw: Urinator Causes Portland to Flush Reservoir Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Today in History for April 17th Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast
Sports Videos
Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement Raw: UConn Celebrates for Second Straight Night UConn Women Win NCAA Basketball Championship Raw: Workers at Brazil Olympic Park on Strike Some Arrests As Fans Celebrate UConn Win UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Championship UConn Wins NCAA Men's Basketball Champsionship Connecticut, Kentucky Fans React to NCAA Win Connecticut, Kentucky Meet for the Title AP Player of Year: Creighton's Doug McDermott Fearsome Final Foursome Head to North Texas College Athletes Take Labor Cause to Washington Northwestern Practices After Union Ruling Woods Has Back Surgery, Will Miss the Masters Raw: Obama, 'Big Papi' of Red Sox Take Selfie Raw: LA Angels Don Baylor Suffers Leg Injury Seahawks, Sounders Visit Town Near Mudslide Milwaukee Brewers' Adopted Mascot Is Big Hit Tigers' Cabrera Gets Record $292M, 10-year Deal Dayton, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin in Elite 8
Weird News