Edith And Eddie


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Edith And Eddie
"Checkoway's documentary quietly rages against the injustices perpetrated on the old."

How many times have you heard middle aged divorcees claim that their romantic lives are over, that it's too late now to find love? Eddie was 95 when he met Edith. She was 96.

It was love at first sight, they say, and even though the ravages of time have limited what they can do with their lives, they seem blissfully happy together. But with old age come other difficulties. Edith's children are squabbling over their iheritance - her home. They want to move her down to Florida, forcing the newlyweds apart. They dismiss her daughter's ability to care for her and, because she has mild dementia, insist on appointing a guardian who will make decisions about her life as if she were a child.

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It's partly about race, says the daughter who cares for her. They don't like the fact that Eddie's white. And perhaps it is about race in ways the younger generation don't get. When Edith expresses concern that going to Florida means she could be forced to do menial work, she is laughed at and told that she's thinking of Cinderella. She could just as easily be thinking of the way black women were treated there when she was growing up.

Though there are gulfs of understanding in this story that stem from cultural change and from the willful ignorance inherent in ageist prejudice, the way Edith and Eddie feel about each other should resonate with viewers of all ages. No matter what happens now, they know they are likely to have little time together. They want to make the most of it.

Director Laura Checkoway's fondness for long afternoon light is a clear reference to age but also illuminates the simple beauty of the landscapes the couple inhabit, emphasising the pleasure they take in the little things. Her documentary quietly rages against the injustices perpetrated on the old. It also takes a love story whose participants will soon be gone and ensures that the world will remember it.

Reviewed on: 12 Feb 2018
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Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America's oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.

Director: Laura Checkoway

Year: 2017

Runtime: 29 minutes

Country: US


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