Bridegroom, the documentary that has left film festival viewers devastated and even caused Bill Clinton to publicly proclaim its power, apparently also has a fan in Oprah Winfrey, who will air it on OWN. The film depicts the true-life tale of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom, two gentle-natured young men in a loving and committed relationship that was cut tragically short when Bridegroom accidentally slipped off the side of a roof. The doc becomes a harrowing examination of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized.
When the former president introduced a screening of the film at the Tribeca film festival in April he remarked, “This is really on one level a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life affirming story and on another level it’s a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance.”
OWN will broadcast the television premiere at 10 p.m. October 27 as part of a special night of programming about being LGBT in America. An hour prior Oprah’s Next Chapter will focus on being “Gay in Hollywood,” and feature interviews with out actors Wanda Sykes, Dan Bucatinsky and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. The film will be available for viewing on Netflix the same night, as well.
A week before it airs on OWN the documentary, directed by Clinton’s pal Linda Bloodworth Thomason of Designing Women fame, will receive a limited theatrical engagement in Los Angeles beginning October 18 (heads up, Oscar voters!).
Regardless of where and how you see it, have tissues nearby. The film will shatter you. Hell, even the trailer will likely have you in tears. As film pundit Dave Karger put it, it’s “the kind of film that can change hearts and minds.”