Review: Freeheld (M)
Directed by Peter Sollett
The powerful story of a lesbian couple from New Jersey who were forced to fight for equality when one was dying from cancer won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary in 2008.
To reach a wider audience, screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) has written this story of activism as a heartbreaking love story.
Police detective Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and her partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) are ordinary people who find themselves in an extraordinary situation. Earned by 23 years of service, Laurel’s pension would go to her partner if they were married but this was denied her same-sex partner.
As a police officer, Laurel had been shot at, punched, kicked and dragged by a car. Now she was dying of lung cancer, she was not asking for special treatment but equality. With the help of fellow detective Dane Wells (Michael Shannon) and larger-than-life activist Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell), Laurel and Stacie spend their last days together fighting for justice.
This timely film reminds us that it is the personal struggles that are at the heart of any battle for equality. “It was not just a story of the messy complexities of social change in the making, but of love, courage, community and endurance” says Cynthia Wade who made the original documentary.
Watch ‘Freeheld’ at a special fundraiser for Pride WA on Thursday 12th November at Luna Leederville. The winning film from the ‘Show Me Your Pride’ competition will be screened before the feature.