Loving is a 2016 historical drama film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. It features Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, the plaintiffs in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The film was released in the United States on November 4, 2016, by Focus Features.
Richard Loving, a white construction worker in Caroline County, Virginia, falls in love with a local black woman and family friend, Mildred Jeter. Upon Mildred discovering that she is pregnant, they decide to marry. However, it is 1958, and knowing that interracial marriage violates Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, they drive to Washington, D.C. to get married. Richard simultaneously makes plans to build a house for Mildred less than a mile from her family home.
Soon afterward, sheriff’s deputies raid Mildred’s home and arrest the Lovings. When Richard points to the marriage license, Sheriff Brooks curtly tells him that it has no validity in Virginia and hauls them both to jail. They plead guilty to breaking the anti-miscegenation law and are sentenced to one year in prison. However, the judge suspends the sentence, on the condition that they do not return to Virginia together for at least 25 years. The Lovings move to Washington to stay with a friend of Mildred’s. They briefly return to Caroline County so their first child, Sidney, can be delivered by Richard’s mother, a midwife. Arrested again, they are cleared when their lawyer says he erroneously advised them they could return.
Mildred and Richard have two other children together, Donald and Peggy. However, Mildred grows frustrated with being away from the country, and her frustration grows when she watches the March on Washington. She writes Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for help. Kennedy refers them to the American Civil Liberties Union, whose lawyer Bernard S. Cohen takes the case and confers with constitutional law expert Phil Hirschkop. They conclude that the Lovings’ ordeal has a good chance of going all the way to the Supreme Court, which would also overturn similar anti-miscegenation laws across the nation.
A minor car accident involving their young son Donald motivates Mildred to move the family back to Virginia. The Lovings settle in a remote portion of King and Queen County while their case moves through the courts. Their case gains wide attention, and is profiled in Life magazine by photographer Grey Villet. The state contends that people of different races were never intended to live together, and goes as far as to suggest the Lovings’ children are bastards. The state Supreme Court refuses to set aside the Lovings’ conviction. Undeterred, Cohen and Hirschkop appeal to the federal Supreme Court. Before going to Washington, Cohen asks Richard if he has a message for the justices. Richard simply replies, “Tell them that I love my wife.”
Several weeks later, the Supreme Court unanimously holds that laws prohibiting interracial marriage are unconstitutional. The film ends with the Lovings back in Caroline County, working on their dream house. The epilogue states that Richard died from a drunk driver in 1975, while Mildred continued to live in the house Richard built for her until her death in 2008. She never remarried.
Source Page – Wikipedia