Recent political discussions have focussed on the issue of "gay
marriage" (a term that is a misnomer), so the arrival of SAINTS AND
SINNERS is timely, if nothing else. It's an assured documentary directed
by Abigail Honor and Yan Vizinberg and follows a Roman Catholic male
couple, Edward DeBonis and Vincent Maniscalco, as they attempt
to get married with the blessings of the Church.
Now one might immediately stop and say, "Why would they even
bother?" Well, the answers are made clear by the two men: their faith
plays an important role in their lives. Both are active members in
Dignity/NewYork, a chapter of a national organization of gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgendered Catholics.
Of course, the Catholic Church won't marry them. (As any good
Catholic knows, though, marriage is a sacrament in which the couple
tying the knot takes the active role; the priest is just there to bless the
union. All other sacraments depend on the priest's performing an act
on the person.) Never mind that in early Church history there were rites
and rituals that blessed same sex couplings. Since the days of
Constantine and later codified in the Middle Ages, same sex couples
cannot be married.
The film follows the relatively even-tempered couple as they
struggle to overcome the odds and marry. There are the hassles of
finding a venue, dealing with bakeries for cakes, and struggling with
family members who are generally supportive but wary of being filmed.
It isn't giving away too much to say that the couple eventually found
a Protestant Church, a willing Catholic priest and the love and support
of their family and friends.
I have to add a small disclaimer: this film is very difficult for me
to review in part because I am acquainted with the couple at its
center. (Although I was unaware of the film until hearing about its
presentation at NewFest.) So in my slightly biased opinion, SAINTS AND
SINNERS is a well-made and enjoyable film that should be seen by all,
especially those in oposition to the issue of same sex marriage.
MPAA Rating: None
Running time: 71 mins.
Viewed at the NewFest, Loews Cineplex Entertainment 34th St. Theater
Co-presented with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Screened with the 8-minute short PROPOSAL (NYC Premiere) and the
4-minute short HOWDY PARTNER (World Premiere)
|Saints & Sinners (2004)