Ira Sachs Finds the Personal Story in a Changing World in 'Love Is Strange'

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Ira Sachs’s Love Is Strange tells the story of a longtime gay couple (played by Alfred Molina and John Lithgow) who are finally able to marry—and some of the complications that ensue. The film is very personal to Sachs who used a lot of autobiographical elements within the story.

Love Is Strange does not seem like a radical film, but it’s radical within the context of American cinema. It’s not radical in form. But there were fifteen years when I didn’t have gay characters in my work and I was figuring out some way to include them,” Sachs tells Fandor.

As same-sex marriage becomes more accepted, Sachs reflects on his film’s subject matter within a larger social context. “For my generation, there was a residual discomfort I had with myself about being gay in the culture that has taken me a long time to work through. Coming of age in this society was totally forbidden to gay men of my generation,” he says. “I keep thinking about Nothing but a Man, Michael Roemer’s great film about a black man and his wife and how racism affects them. That film to me is the single best example of how culture can destroy lives. The beauty of their love at the beginning of the movie as opposed to the coercion that occurs across the course of the film really defines how we are affected by politics. The world has changed in the last ten years for gays and lesbians, and now the laws are changing with marriage equality coming into play. What my film reflects is how that change affects the individual.”

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