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Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement

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Edie & Thea Wedding Pic

Edie & Thea

© Breaking Glass Pictures
  • Directors Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir
  • 61 minutes
  • Breaking Glass Pictures
  • 2010
  • English

Edie & Thea: A Love Story

Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer met in the 1960s, before Stonewall. They fell in love on the dance floor. "Our bodies just fit," Thea said. And over the years, they had many dances.

A Story Told in Pictures

Edie & Thea 1969

Edie & Thea 1969

© Breaking Glass Pictures
Lucky for us Edie & Thea were great documentarians of their own lives. We sit with them as they show us slide show of their lives together. Summers in the Hamptons. Dancing in the clubs. Trips to Venice and Surinam. Gay Pride rallies and gatherings with friends. It's a story of two lives joined as one. A common story, yet unique to this pair.

Edie & Thea: The Wedding and Beyond

Finally, in 2007, with Thea given the prognosis of less than a year to live, the couple head to Canada to get legally married. Their wedding is short and moving. But isn't that was a wedding is? Just a tiny part of a marriage, a life lived together.

After the two are finally married, we know what is coming. Thea's health is declining and we sense that death is near. There are scenes of Edie putting her to bed, attaching oxygen, so she can breathe. And then there's Thea, telling us that no matter what, you need to keep making love, despite the disabilities that plague us as we age. "As the years go by, that feeling of attraction stays the same," she says.

The Aftermath: A Lawsuit

Edie and Thea: A Life Built Together

Edie and Thea: A Life Built Together

© Breaking Glass Pictures
Because same-sex marriage is not recognized by the federal government, gays and lesbians often have to pay estate taxes on the inheritance when one of them dies. This, of course, is not the case with heterosexual couples.

Edie Windsor has filed a lawsuit that challenges the "Defense of Marriage Act." According to a press release from Breaking Glass Pictures: "Windsor is seeking the return of the $350,000 she paid in estate taxes after the government failed to recognize her marriage to Thea Spyer, who passed away in 2009. The documentary tells the story of the couple’s 44-year-long engagement and their 2007 marriage in Toronto. The lawsuit was filed with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and the New York Civil Liberties Union."

Overall, it's a very moving story, and a recommended film.

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