The Case Against 8

A thoroughly engaging doc on California’s legal battle over same-sex marriage

When California, of all states, passed a gay marriage ban called Proposition 8 in 2008, a dream team of legal and scholastic minds launched a five-year court battle to have it ruled unconstitutional. This is a dense, backstage legal procedural that filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White have skilfully distilled into a clear, not to mention moving, narrative.

The witness-demolishing lawyers—fascinating backstory—are great to watch, but the heroes are the two heavily vetted couples, one gay and one lesbian, that volunteered to be the plaintiffs, to bare their lives to abuse, threats, and worse, the media. A thoroughly engaging doc. Japanese title: Gender Marriage. (109 min)