Advocacy News - Tying the Knot Director to marry in Toronto
October 22, 2004
the Knot director to marry in Toronto
Holland we have a saying that a civilization can be judged on the way it treats
its minority. If it treats its minorities well, then it is a civilized country."
Tying the Knot is the latest in an ongoing series of reports sent by authors and filmmakers from the front-lines of the movement for marriage equality. And we mean the front-lines: up close and personal.
Toronto film-goers have a chance to see what all the buzz is about when the film makes its local debut on November 3 (7 p.m.) as part of Hot Doc's Doc Soup program.
De Sève has assembled film from archival and news sources, and combined these sources with his own film captured over the past three years. The film's viewpoint is one of unapologetic advocacy, and obviously we share the viewpoint. The film is full of friends and colleagues who we have worked with in Canada, Europe and the United States:
It is always a pleasure to hear from our academic, spiritual and legal champions. We owe a great deal to these heroes. But while the experts help tie things together in this film, it's the personal stories that provide the knot.
"Last year at this time, she was still alive," says Mickie Mashburn, a lesbian cop battling for her slain wife's pension. "For Valentine's, where you send off for care bears, that's what she got me last year on February fourteenth. She bought me roses and she had one of those bears sent to me so you sit back and think what a year changes. And it's hard."
Sam, a gay rancher struggles to save everything he and his dead partner built together.
"I miss him," says Sam as he fights relatives over an estate. "I miss him a lot. If he were here now, I wouldn't be having all the problems I'm having."
Our friends Bill Wrigley and Carolyn Swadron are shown carrying signs from this web site and kissing for the camera when its discovered they are straight and married to each other.
We are asked to respond to people who don't like same-sex marriage: "If you don't like same-sex marriage, don't have one."
Michael Leshner kisses his husband Michael Stark, and says "You can't do that in America yet, but I'll be there."
It's not clear whether the comment is a taunt or a reassurance. It may be the only ambiguous point in the film. The next scene transitions to a litany of hateful demonstrations and comments by opponents of the expansion of human rights to gays and lesbians. Their intentions are quite clear.
Tying the Knot juxtaposes what's happening in the U.S. against the climate in the Netherlands and Canada, where same-sex couples have been granted marital parity. Because Canada doesn't have citizenship requirements for same-sex couples to marry, scores of gay and lesbian Americans travel to Canada to protect their families through legal marriage. Tying the Knot's director will soon count himself among them.
Jim de Sève plans to marry his partner of 5 years, Kian Tjong, while the pair are in Canada for the Toronto premier of the film (Kian is one of the producers).
"A wedding is always exciting, of course," says Hot Docs publicist Kirsten Evans, "and given the recent developments in New York state law [where Jim lives] this is an important step for them."
It doesn't get more personal than that.
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell