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23 Ratings

The Case Against 8

Directed by Ben Cotner, Ryan White
United States, 2014


A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Case Against 8 Directed by Ben Cotner, Ryan White

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Documentary (Directing Award)

SXSW Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Festival Favorites (Audience Award)

The film beautifully connects the procedural ennui of large-scale legal cases with the individual struggles of those directly involved; unlike Wiseman, Cotner and White include talking-head interviews, but the commentary, particularly that of the same-sex couples who acted as plaintiffs, is consistently moving.
June 11, 2014
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Although Mr. Cotner and Mr. White have been granted impressive access, from a dramatic standpoint, it’s hard not to wish that we could observe the legal gamesmanship on both sides. Still, “The Case Against 8” functions as a valuable record of the nuts-and-bolts conference room side of advocacy — an aspect of civil rights work not often seen on screen.
June 05, 2014
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HBO’s passionate, pro-gay The Case Against 8 has a built-in audience, the one now watching The Normal Heart. But it deserves wider viewership, especially for its thriller of a plot development: the surprising recruitment to the cause of attorney Theodore Olson, the right-winger who successfully argued Dubya into the White House.
June 03, 2014
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