Bridegroom: A Tear-Inducing Documentary Of True Love…
His name was Tom, and he was Shane’s life…
They lived the American dream: a home, a business and dog together. However, they were ostracised both legally and by Tom’s family, by whom their partnership was never accepted.
When Shane’s partner of 6 years fell from the roof of a four-storey building his injuries were fatal.
At the hospital Shane was kept from seeing Tom, and information withheld as he was not considered family.
Despite the two sharing their lives together, legally they were nothing more than roommates. As if this weren’t bad enough, Tom’s unaccepting family threatened Shane, preventing him from attending the funeral of the love of his life.
Bridegroom is a tear-inducing documentary of true love.
An account of struggle and suffering brought on by the lack of acceptance, and inequalities that still exist within our society.
The film documents the lives of Shane Crone and Tom Bridegroom: their separate childhoods and teen years during which they both struggled coming to terms with their sexuality, their incredible relationship, through to Tom’s death and the awful struggle Shane was forced to experience following the death of his life partner.
The film is structured by emotionally raw interviews with Shane, his family, and the friends he shared with Tom. The absence of Tom’s family is poignant.
The film is powerful, and genuinely has the potential to change people’s opinions.
The brutally honest question we have to ask ourselves however is…
Will the people whose minds need changing give the film the time of day?
The sad fact is gay-specific films are not going to reach homophobic viewers.
However, what I believe the film can do is instil passion in those who watch it (who most likely will be LGBT or LGBT friendly), are to inspire and encourage them to stand up for the rights of the community, to not become complacent and realise there is still much work to be done before true equality is achieved.
Films like this will keep the fires in the stomachs of the LGBT community lit, but we need this to translate to the mainstream too. LGBT characters need to be normalised by mainstream media, in order to eliminate the taboo of being gay and discourage the negative stereotypes that often surround the community.
Bridegroom is incredible, but while there is still limited coverage of LGBT topics within the mainstream, the film will probably not get the exposure it truly deserves. Mainstream media need to explore homosexual topics, and embrace LGBT characters before wider society will watch such niche texts, accept and empathise with LGBT characters; leading to the realisation of equality.
Through Bridegroom, Shane has turned the worst situation imaginable into something powerful and thought provoking: a vehicle to illustrate, challenge and question the inequalities of society.
Let’s hope Shane’s philosophy is right, that:
“Love is Louder”
We need to share and celebrate Tom’s memory, in the hope that someday love – and not gender – will be the most important thing.
Bridegroom is now available on Netflix.
Here’s a trailer for the film:
The short film It Could Happen To You (the inspiration for the feature length documentary) that Shane made on the anniversary of Tom’s death:
Anne Loveday is a film student who is obsessed with questioning what culture teaches and tells us, particularly about the concept of normality.
In short, a film-loving, open-water-swimming, culture-obsessed, music addict.