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Tying the KnotTying the Knot

a film by Jim de Sève
82 minutes, Color, English,
USA, 2004, Video

Available in DVD and Video
Closed Captioned (Video Only)

For Public Screenings. Please send your inquiry to info@outcast-films.com.


 

Three years in the making, Jim de Sève's powerful documentary on same-sex marriage provides a much needed historical and legal perspective to the political war being waged in the nation today. By using archival footage, news clips, and heartfelt interviews, TYING THE KNOT examines the institution of marriage today and how it has changed through history: from an historical trip to the middle ages to gay hippies storming the Manhattan marriage bureau in 1971. This eye-opening exploration of the embattled institution looks at rights, privilege and love as gay activists and right-wing politicos lock horns in the fight for marriage.

By taking real life stories from the news headlines, de Sève puts real life struggles on the forefront of this very intense on-going battle for basic civil rights. A tender home video of Florida police officers Mickie Mashburn and Lois Morrero's commitment ceremony is juxtaposed with the agonizing indignity of marriage discrimination when Lois is killed on the job and Mickie is denied her life partner's pension. When his life partner dies, an Oklahoma rancher is booted off the property they built together by estranged cousins of his deceased partner. A New York City police officer and a Pentagon worker endure tremendous suffering after the loss of their life partners in the wake of 9/11.

   

what they're saying

 

TYING THE KNOT is a timely and compelling study of gay marriage that places this contentious contemporary issue in historical context. Focusing on the stories of two working-class couples, one lesbian and one gay, TYING THE KNOT demonstrates the tremendous breadth and depth of queer domesticity. Reaching beyond the stereotypes of gay lifestyle familiar to us from contemporary mass culture and mainstream political rhetoric, TYING THE KNOT shows that same-sex unions are as American as cherry pie.

Jonathan Kahana Assistant Professor of English, BRYN MAWR COLLEGE

TYING THE KNOT gives an excellent account of the on-going legal, social, and political issues facing the homosexual community in the U.S. The film explores both sides of this controversial issue by thoroughly investigating the legislative response to states recognizing gay marriage. One comes away with a clear understanding of this civil rights movement and the continuing discrimination faced by homosexuals in the U.S. It is a must see for those interested in constitutional law, civil rights, property rights, and discrimination in American Society.

Kristin J. Bremer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY

TYING THE KNOT is an effective film because it chooses to focus on the practical problems facing gay and lesbian couples, as opposed to the more abstract rights claims that are typically made on behalf of same-sex marriage, and, because it makes a self-conscious effort to bridge the Red-Blue divide. The decision to focus on soldiers, police officers, and farmers in their day-to-day lives — along with the more visible, and, hence, familiar, scenes of political protest — helps convey the diversity and humanity of the cause. It is a powerful and moving documentary.

Ken I. Kersch, Assistant Professor of Politics, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Reviews>

These true accounts powerfully illustrate that, without marriage, same-sex partners are denied both the societal recognition and the legal rights that married couples enjoy. With 1,049 federal rights and protections afforded legally to married couples, the consequences of marriage discrimination are undeniable. Our film weaves their personal stories with a larger chronicle of history-in-the-making.

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