Hollywood is buzzing about the film "Bridegroom," and for good reason.
The heartbreaking documentary tells the story of Shane Bitney Crone, who lost the love of his life, Tom Bridegroom, after he accidentally fell four stories off a rooftop and died while taking photos of a friend.
However, it's the tale of what happened after Tom's death that has everyone talking.
Despite being in a loving and committed relationship with Tom, Shane was threatened with violence by his late boyfriend's family and cut out of any decision-making regarding Tom's affairs. Shane was also not welcome at the funeral.
Here are five reasons we think "Bridegroom" is an important film, and why you should see it:
1. It has an important message:
"Bridegroom" illustrates the very real struggle in which couples without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves. The documentary opens a window onto the issue of same-sex marriage equality and depicts the very real challenges that still exist today.
2. The film perfectly captures the power of social media:
The documentary all started because of an 11 minute YouTube video that went viral. On the anniversary of Tom's death, Shane made a tribute to his partner, which has now has over 4 million views. It quickly became an online sensation and was picked up by news outlets across the country.
3. It's how Kickstarter is supposed to be used (sorry Zach Braff!):
"Bridegroom" was funded through the generosity of 6,508 Kickstarter supporters. This is an emotional, eye-opening film that furthers discussion of important social issues, which makes it hard to imagine a not-so-struggling former "Scrubs" actor using the same platform for his passion project.
4. Because Bill Clinton and Oprah say so:
President Clinton introduced the film at the Tribeca Film Festival, saying: "This is really — on one level — a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story, and on another level it's a story about our nation's struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance."
Meanwhile, Oprah found the documentary so moving she will premiere the film on OWN on Sunday, October 27 at 10 p.m.
If these two both endorse a project, there's a pretty good chance the quality level is quite high. Plus, prolific TV producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason also wrote, directed, and produced the film.
5. It could happen to you
As mentioned in reason #1, "Bridegroom" shows the world what can happen when two people are legally barred from having equal rights and protections that are granted to others under marriage laws. It has the power to create real change and awareness in the lives of others by adhering an important warning.
This is what documentaries are supposed to do. Come Academy Award nomination time, don't be surprised to see "Bridegroom" on the ballot.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Shane Bitney Crone