Filmmakers try 'stripping the politics out' of Prop 8 story

Ralph Alswang

It’s a documentary chronicling a pair of same-sex couples that sued for the right to marry in opposition to Proposition 8 in California, but those behind HBO's new film "The Case Against 8" insist their story is about more than politics.

“Ultimately I think that our film is not trying to be political,” co-director Ryan White told The Hill Monday at a premiere event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. “If you see it, it’s mostly about the human stories. That’s where it really holds the most power in opening peoples’ hearts and minds.”

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White and his fellow director Ben Cotner spent five years filming the journey of the plaintiffs, from when California passed Prop 8 in 2008 until both couples were wed following last year’s Supreme Court decision that struck down the gay marriage ban.

The filmmakers stressed that it was about “stripping the politics out” and telling the story of the plaintiffs as it happened. Cotner expressed a desire for a Washington audience to get a particular message out of the film.

“The idea that people on different sides of the aisle can work together on something was something that we were really excited about. It’s so rare these days," he said.

Paul Katami, one of the four plaintiffs in the case, said the film allows the audience “to sit back, on either side of the fence, and watch the actual truth of what happened. It’s a universal story about couples wanting to get married and how we lean on the law to achieve equality.”

“The Case Against 8” is in select theaters and premieres on HBO on June 23.