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‘Loving’ celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown.
Richard was Caucasian and Mildred was African-American; interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia in 1958 under an “anti-miscegenation” statute enacted in 1924. When they returned home after marrying in Washington DC, the Sheriff and his deputies burst into their bedroom to arrest them. The judge offered a one-year suspended sentence if they’d leave the state and not return for 25 years, noting: “Almighty God created the races: white, black, yellow, Malay and red.
He placed them on separate continents and, but for the interference with His arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriages.” Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry - and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since. The film beautifully expresses the love they had for each other, the pain of the long court ordeal and the hardship of moving away from their families.