*The National Museum of African American History and Culture recently hosted a sneak peek of “Loving” in the 350-seat Oprah Winfrey Theater–one of many for the new institution. The choice wasn’t coincidental, said Rhea L. Combs, the museum’s photography and film curator and head of its Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts.
“Showing this film at the museum is important because the story is symbolic of the mission of the museum,” Combs said. “It demonstrates the link between people of all backgrounds and culture.”
“Loving” stars stars, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton and tells the true story of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia who fought for nearly a decade to have their marriage recognized as legal. Their historic case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which eventually struck down laws against interracial marriage.
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At a panel discussion before the screening, Negga, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Scotland, noted the importance of this resonating story.
“This story is incredibly personal but also universal. [The Lovings] radiate love. They radiate kindness, goodness and, most importantly, hope. No country owns that. That’s a universal thing,” she said.
David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal and Focus Features, said the movie is a must-see, “especially in the midst of today’s contentious political climate.”
The film, opening in theaters Nov. 4, recently screened for Oscar voters at the film academy’s Samuel L. Goldwyn Theater. Academy members gave the lead actors a long standing ovations for their turns as Mildred and Richard Loving, reports the L.A. Times. Reaction to the film so far suggests that “Loving” will earn a best picture nomination.