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Jim de Seve's timely documentary chronicles the political war between gay people who want to marry and the people determined to stop them. Stories of a gay rancher's fight to keep his home and a lesbian cop's battle for her slain partner's pension are set against the charged movement playing out in American streets, courts and legislatures. From a historical trip to the Middle Ages, to gay hippies storming the Manhattan marriage bureau in 1971, this exploration of the embattled institution looks at rights, privilege and love as gay activists and right-wing politicos lock horns in the debate over same-sex marriage.
 

 Tying the Knot

Tying the Knot began as a personal journey for me. I had fallen in love with my partner from Indonesia and we were facing a common issue to many bi-national couples: How to stay together when the government doesn't recognize your relationship. This personal legal hurdle set me down a path of asking what role marriage has in our society. I decided to make a short film on the subject which quickly grew to an immense and fascinating project that is now in theaters.

So what is this documentary on marriage about? Tying the Knot is a fast-paced tour of personal stories, history, and legal and political fights around marriage. It looks at intimate stories of a rancher and a cop who have lost their life partners and are faced with losing pensions and farms. Stuff you can't believe is going on in this day and age.

Tying the Knot is my essay on the subject of marriage. Is it journalism? No. It isn't meant to be. I so profoundly believe that gays and lesbians should have this equal right that I have crafted a call-to-arms—a compelling film that argues unapologetically that this is an issue of basic social justice.

But what about gays and lesbians who feel this is the wrong fight? I think it is fine to have that point-of-view. But for those of us who believe we should have the right, please don't stand in our way. And please be informed on the subject. I thought years ago (before making this film) that there was no need to mimic the straight institution of marriage. I thought we, as the gay community, should be able to get "beyond marriage"—develop our own ways of living. Well, I now think that viewpoint misses some key issues.

First, there is no homogenous "gay community." We come in all shapes and sizes, all economic backgrounds and geographic locations. To say that we will all act and think of one mind is not true. The gay movement should recognize the diversity of needs in all LGBT people and that includes the want and need for some people to Tie the Knot!

In making this film I also came to understand that by gay and lesbian couples participating in marriage we actually help to equalize the institution for everyone. If two men or two women can marry equally as a man and a woman, don't we undermine the patriarchy of the institution?

There is so much to consider on this subject! While Tying the Knot can't possibly cover it all, we give an abundant amount of food for thought. This isn't "Gay Weddings" on Bravo! Tying the Knot is a personal and political exploration of the subject. Get thee to the movie theater!