Thursday, August 07, 2008

Portraits of Love

Chris & Don: 
A Love Story

Having read and enjoyed many of Christopher Isherwood's books over the years I was eagerly anticipating this cinematic memoir of his 34-year relationship with the much younger Don Bachardy. I was not disappointed as this documentary is a moving account of their relationship. After a brief introductory section on Christopher's life before his move to California and meeting Don, the film focuses on their story and, interestingly, more and more on Don Bachardy's own development as an artist. From the shy boy who is overwhelmed by the Hollywood stars in Chris's world Don develops a life of his own. A life of his own of a sort, since he owed so much of his development to Chris. How Don and Chris worked this out over the years and stayed together was fascinating. In its portrayal of this story the film was sensitive to both lives and provided a beautiful portrait of the love that kept them together until Chris's death in 1986. Perhaps most touching were the almost daily portraits of Chris that Don created during the final six months of Chris's life. Definitely a documentary worth seeing again.

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