Yesterday, PJ and I watched the 2007 documentary Chris and Don: A Love Story, which is about the 30-year relationship between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy. Isherwood was, of course, a famous British writer who emigrated to the United States in 1939. Bachardy is an artist who specializes in portraits; his work is also familiar to anyone who follows queer art. It’s a great documentary.

Here’s the trailer:

As the trailer makes clear, the relationship between Isherwood and Bachardy began in controversy: the former was 30 years older than the latter. The age disparity in this relationship takes up a lot of the documentary’s time, but it’s not the only, or even the most, interesting part of this love story.

It is really interesting to hear about how Isherwood and Bachardy met. The latter was still a teenager, and Isherwood was already an important author who had started working for Hollywood films. It’s also interesting to see how beautiful Bachardy was as a teen — I can see why Isherwood was initially attracted to him. Here’s an early portrait of the couple:

Seeing an image like this and knowing that the two are lovers raises a lot of issues and questions in our culture. The film doesn’t shy away from these issues. But the really interesting part of this story is watching Bachardy narrate the rest of their lives together.

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