EDITH + EDDIE
Laura Checkoway's profile of America's oldest interracial newlyweds starts off adorably. The titular couple met when they were already in their 90s and married soon after. (They even have a meet cute story about splitting a winning lottery ticket!) For about 7 minutes, "Edith + Eddie" resembles one of those human interest stories at the end of the local news. "It's Never Too Late to Fall In Love!" would be the chyron, or some such thing. In fact, the couple was featured on a variety of news programs, which brought them to the attention of Cher, who is an executive producer on the documentary.
Sadly, their story takes a dark turn. While one of Edith's two daughters lives close by, supports her relationship with Eddie and seems generally attentive to her needs, the other lives in Florida and seeks to break the couple up. Edith suffers from mild dementia, which the Florida daughter - Patricia - uses to get a legal conservator appointed. We're told that Patricia has greedy ulterior motives - she wants to sell Edith's home out from under her and pocket the profits - and that there's an element of racial animus as well. (Though there's no reason to doubt this version of events, it's never actually confirmed, as Patricia did not participate in the film.)
The movie's undeniably powerful - you'd have to be some kind of monster NOT to want these two sweet old people, who are very clearly in love, to stay together - but I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. There's no real advocacy here, save maybe a caution against the horrors of ageism, and an observation about how the elder care system is ill-equipped to deal with these kinds of disputes within families. But it's largely directionless: the movie's not saying what's actually wrong with the system, just that it failed these two people. Without more context, it's a timeline of a very painful situation facing one family.
Where to Watch: Vimeo
Running time: 29 minutes