There’s a scene in the new documentary film Bridegroom that touched us with its simple grace. For those who haven’t yet heard of the movie, it’s the follow-up to a short YouTube video about a gay man, Shane Bitney Crone, whose partner Tom Bridegroom dies in a tragic fall. The video went viral – you can see it here:
In the scene, Shane has just lost his partner of 6 years, and Tom’s mother has flown the body back home to Indiana from California. On the way to the funeral, Shane gets a call from one of Tom’s family members telling him he’s not invited.
And Shane’s response? To tell his own friends and family to let Tom’s parents off the hook because they were going through grief too.
What could have been a bitter film about the unfairness of the way gays and lesbian coupless are treat instead shines as a testimony to an amazing love story, and it’s a stronger argument for that decision.
Yes, the unfairness is a part of it all, from Shane being shut out of his partner’s hospital room by hospital officials to the inhumane treatment he receives from Tom’s family afterwards.
But the impression you’re left with after watching the film is that you’ve just seen an amazing love story that these two remarkable young men shared, and how just-like-everyone-else they really were.
We were lucky enough to catch the film on opening night at the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival – and Shane was there too to answer audience questions.
The film is exploding on the gay film circuit festival at the moment, and has been picked up by OWN, Netflix, and reviewed by the New York Times.
Indeed, at the Q&A after the film, one woman credited Bridegroom with turning her mother around on the issue of marriage equality.
Directed by Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women) and produced by Shane himself, the film finds the joy in their life together, and the tragedy in the unexpected event that cut it short.
If you have the chance, catch this one at your local film festival. If not, you can see it on OWN later this month, or streaming on Netflix. Show it to your friends or loved ones – it might change their minds.