Director: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Music: Benjy Gaither
Shane Bitney Crone
A bona fide tearjerker! I am oblivious of Shane’s youtube videos, which kickstarts this feature-length picture, but the film needs to be seen by literally everyone, whether for or against the same sex equity, it is deeply heartfelt and perspicaciously educational, I think whoever as long as hold a small fraction of mercy in their hearts, regardless of their religious convictions, after watching this film, it will be a game-changer for the prejudiced and a touchstone for a mightier love above social class, creed, race, color and gender.
The documentary is about Shane and Tom, a gay couple being together for 6 years until Tom died of falling from a rooftop accidentally in 2011 (aged 29), the interviewers (Shane, his families and their friends) chart the story of their lives from Shane’s childhood, his bullied school days and his struggling self-identification of being a gay man while Tom attended a first-rate high school albeit his blue-collar family background, and turned out to be an all-american boy, handsome, macho, outgoing, a role model excels both in sports and academy. After fate let them meet in L.A., their relationship epitomizes the most desiring lover-cum-soulmate perfection one could ever dream of, which causes the ensuing tragedy far more harrowing to bear.
A familiar juncture for almost every gay person, the coming-out process, particularly to Tom’s parochial family, it was an incubus, which sheerly contrasts with the understandable reaction from Shane’s family, however, it is all evinced secondhand by Shane and their friends, since Tom’s family adopted the silent treatment to the invitation of the production team to be part of the film, surely we will never know the story from the other side, which is a minor glitch in this otherwise viscerally affecting picture.
Nevertheless, a more contingent fact is how the young soul’s passing provoked much more indignation when Tom’s family flagrantly shut down Shane out of the funeral and expunged their entire life together as if it never happened, it is an atrocious transgression towards our very basic canon as human beings, it is love unites us, differentiates us and sublimates us from other creatures on earth, and propels our society to move on to a better world, so even though BRIDEGROOM (which is Tom’s family name, what a pertinent one!) is hardly a ground-breaking piece of art work (SMS interaction, video footages, travel photography is all it has to render the narrative aside common interviews with apt editing), it is a film should not be missed and I do hope the cost of a young life can be at least in some level compensated by awakening more conservative minds to evaluate the world with a more humane mind and encouraging more individuals to embrace their true color. Also, best wishes to Shane, you are lucky enough to experience true love and don’t lose hope, live long and prosper!