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THE CASE AGAINST 8 (review)

1093_the-case-against-8-poster_9752THE CASE AGAINST 8

Directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White

In May of 2008, the state of California allowed for same-sex marriages but then quickly withdrew that right in November when Proposition 8 was passed. Prop 8 (as it’s more widely known) was a state constitutional amendment that was championed by opponents of same-sex marriages to ban these marriages, thus stripping these couples of their rights (the same rights that heterosexual couples can enjoy, such as social security, pension and benefits). Two separate couples who were denied their marriage licences then sued their local county clerks offices and set in motion events that would become one of the greatest victories for human rights America has ever seen.

Filmmakers, Ben Cotner and Ryan White, followed these events over a course of 5 years, documenting the struggles, set-backs and achievements of not only the two couples (Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo) but of the legal team as well (Ted Olsen and David Boies). At times THE CASE AGAINST 8 is emotional, but not overly so, and mostly sticks to the legal proceedings (of which we see none of, but we hear plenty of), and focusing on clips of the many, many homophobic comments made by the Prop 8 supporters.

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The movie itself is a fascinating legal documentary that opens with a lot of legal jargon by two of America’s top lawyers, and is only really weighed down by its running time. At almost 2 hours in length, it feels as though the filmmakers wanted to cover even more than what we see here, and with 5 years of footage, this is quite possible. That being said, THE CASE AGAINST 8 is a profoundly important human rights film that should be seen by everyone, no matter which side of the issue you stand on.

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