Imagine being cuddled with your loved one in bed, in the middle of the night. It's peaceful, and the warmth of your spouse's body sends goosebumps all down your skin. And then, boom! You're both shaken awake by a police officer kicking down your door and yelling, "Get out of bed!" because your marriage is not legal in Virginia; the state's anti-miscegenation law doesn't allow interracial couples to wed.
This was the reality for the Lovings in 1958.
Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1958 to get married and returned to their native Virginia, only to be arrested right out of their marriage bed. Their prison sentences were suspended on the condition that they leave the state for 25 years. They returned and were arrested again. As the civil rights movement in the 1960s grew, the American Civil Liberties Union took on their case, and in 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in the landmark Loving v. Virginia case, which then labeled marriage a basic human right.
Loving is a film that focuses more on Richard and Mildred as a couple than on the blatant hatred that so much of America's history is known for. The acting from Joel Edgerton (Richard) and Ruth Negga (Mildred) is nothing less than stellar as they draw us in with their incredible chemistry and keep us attentive to their unbreakable bond.
Director Jeff Nichols took on this love story filled with despair and, somehow, hope and translated it into a beautiful visual of how far we've come as a country and yet how far we still have to go. And to think, this was 1958, only 58 years ago, when our country threw loving interracial couples in jail because the color of their skin didn't match.
Check out our interview with Joel and Ruth below: