The Case Against 8

A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.


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  • ★★★★ review by Daniel Webb on Letterboxd

    Theodore "Ted" Olson (REP) - Assistant Attorney General under Reagan, and US Solicitor General under Bush Jr.

    David Boies (DEM) - Represented Vice President Al Gore in Bush vs Gore in 2000 against Olson.

    During a lunchbreak:

    Ted: "I thought this was pizza. They said there was pizza."

    David: "Yeah, if there's pizza, I haven't seen it."

    Ted: "Well... What is it?"

    David: "Ah... Tacos."

    Ted: "...hmm"

    *walks away*

    There are two things that astonished me while watching The Case Against 8, aside from the obvious injustice of the whole Proposition 8 affair. The first is the story of two litigation giants from different sides of the political aisle who become friends and decide to fight the good fight together. The second is the story of the most stubborn proponent of Prop 8, a David Blankenhorn, completely changing his mind because of the questions he was asked on the stand.

    This documentary is worth watching for these two beautiful stories alone.

  • ★★★★★ review by Gibnerd on Letterboxd

    this is a fantastic, moving & very well made fly on the wall style doc on a historic case that spans 4 years of fighting to overturn Proposition 8. Case Against 8 is wonderfully made and very clear and entertaining without feeling like it has to stop and explain things to the audience or get too stuffy with legal speak. you feel like you are with the lawyers and the sensitive case all the way through and it is an emotional, wonderful ride.

  • ★★★★ review by Josh Weber on Letterboxd

    Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the plaintiffs in a landmark case that has set the stage for the current case under review at SCOTUS. After watching this, it seems unbelievable that SCOTUS could undo what so many other cases like this have done to help LGBT couples achieve marriage equality. It gives me hope that one day we'll be able to look back on this documentary and wonder how on earth this was an issue.

  • ★★★½ review by Adam Waldowski on Letterboxd

    An emotional powerhouse of a documentary, but the irony of picking perfect couples to challenge Proposition 8 in court means they're not the most intriguing characters. However, they're articulate, immensely likable people, who have some profound realizations about their experiences as gays and lesbians. This is hardly revolutionary filmmaking. It's by-the-numbers in its presentation, but it's also impactful, timely, and will stand as an accomplished historical document.


  • ★★★★ review by Craig Duffy on Letterboxd

    Being the bleeding heart liberal that I am, I was already extremely familiar with all the various ins and outs of this case. I was dreading a moment by moment re-hash of what I was already so up to date on. Though it starts out that way, the film gradually gives way to telling us about people. What actually makes this documentary interesting is getting to see an important piece of history from the perspective of the everyday people who lived/made it. What is it like to be the center of a Supreme Court case? This film gets fairly close to answering that question. The ending with the double-wedding is pretty great stuff too. Glad that this exists as a document for future generations who weren't able to follow every last development as it happened.

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