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Chris & Don. A Love Story (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Romance | 13 June 2008 (USA)
The love story between British writer, Christopher Isherwood (whose book 'The Berlin Stories' inspired the musical and film Cabaret) and Don Bachardy, American portrait artist.

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Cast

Credited cast:
W.H. Auden ...
Himself (archive footage)
Don Bachardy ...
Himself
Ted Bachardy ...
Himself
James Berg ...
Himself (as Jim Berg)
...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Katherine Bucknell ...
Herself
...
Herself
Eduardo Correia ...
Ahmed
...
Himself (archive footage)
Chris Freeman ...
Himself
Charlie Gordon ...
First Dinner Guest
Kenneth Grimes ...
Paul Bowles (as Ken Grimes)
Sara S. Hodson ...
Herself
Evelyn Hooker ...
Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Depicts the remarkable life of artist Don Bachardy and his relationship with the distinguished writer Christopher Isherwood. Includes footage shot by Chris and Don in the 1950s and interviews with Leslie Caron, John Boorman, Liza Minnelli, and others. Isherwood and Bachardy were open about their life together, regardless of the waves it caused. This was during a period when gay relationships were not acceptable. The age difference in their relationship brought obvious personal problems that had to be addressed. Don often felt disregarded by Chris's famous friends and frequently was. Nevertheless, Bachardy pursued his art career with great energy, painting and drawing every day. Finding a vocation gave Don a sense of fulfillment and independence. He began to realize that he could function independently, which made him question whether he wanted to stay with Isherwood. Don toyed with leaving the relationship and striking out on his own, however he decided not to as he realized his love ... Written by Asphalt Stars Productions

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

artist | gay | friend | writer | partner | See All (247) »

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No one believed they could last so long...


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

13 June 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chris & Don: Uma História de Amor  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,337 (USA) (15 June 2008)

Gross:

$212,814 (USA) (5 October 2008)
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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Touching story of a thirty-year relationship that outlasted many Hollywood unions...
15 June 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I stumbled upon this documentary on the Sundance Channel and the name Don Bachardy sounded familiar to me so I began watching. Then I realized that he was the artist who authored a book called "Stars In His Eyes" that dealt with many famous film personalities that posed for him. Each actor/actress had their portrait sketched and he wrote interesting details about the experience of setting up these meetings and how the sittings went.

So I watched, and discovered that he was Christopher Irsherwood's lover since he was a youth, meeting the writer when he was an unformed adolescent and quickly becoming his lifelong companion. It's a touching documentary, detailing the closeness of their relationship which began in the Hollywood of the 1950s at a time when discretion had to be uppermost in the minds of anyone contemplating a same sex relationship.

Bachardy was fascinated by the many well-known people that Irsherwood's associations included--everyone from Montgomery Clift to Julie Harris to Leslie Caron--and quickly became a part of that world when Irsherwood sponsored his education as an artist. Later, he would be doing portraits of these famous people and have his own opening at a gallery.

But the story deals mainly with the intensity of their close relationship over the years despite some difficulties due to their age difference. However, I found some of Bachardy's choices rather morbid, such as the endless fascination with sketching the dying partner during his final months, again and again.

Bachardy himself does much of the narration and ends by saying that he's reading Irsherwood's diary from the back toward the beginning because he can't wait to get to the part where they first meet.

Make of it what you will--it's all there for the viewer to ponder.


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