The Loving Story Around the World: Tajikistan

In the months following the television debut of THE LOVING STORY on HBO, our film’s producer and editor Elisabeth Haviland James traveled to Tajikistan as a guest of the State Department to discuss filmmaking and THE LOVING STORY. Her experience showed that the film’s message transcends borders.

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Tajikistan in April 2012 as a guest of the State Department.  I spent about two weeks traversing the country talking about filmmaking, and was able to share THE LOVING STORY with very diverse audiences – ranging from “old school” soviet filmmakers and university students in the capital of Dushanbe, to high school students in Qugonteppa, to women’s groups in the Vakash River Valley, and to groups in more traditional villages near Kulob. I was surprised by how strongly the themes of the film resonated, especially with adolescent girls and women in rural areas.  Richard and Mildred’s love story, although quintessentially American, transcended cultural, religious and language barriers, and led to inspiring conversations about civil rights, the freedom to marry, gender roles, family structures, and of course, love. I was deeply moved by the welcoming embrace of the Tajik people, the lush April landscapes of the foothills of the Pamir mountains, and the quality of earnest conversation provoked by the movie.

By Elisabeth Haviland James

Producer and Editor


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