Chris & Don. A Love Story

Imagine a documentary about a love story pertaining to a middle to upper class couple in Fifties-era America. Short of potential historical value, it probably wouldn’t be too engaging.

Add a twist “” one man in the relationship is a 48-year-old author whose work inspired the German cabaret movement, and the other man is an 18-year-old painter and aspiring portrait artist “” and we have a unique, compelling film.

“Chris & Don. A Love Story” chronicles the 30-year-plus relationship of the openly gay writer Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, who met in 1953 Malibu and remained together until Isherwood’s death in 1986. The documentary features archival footage, interviews with Bachardy and commentary from actress Liza Minnelli and filmmaker John Boorman.

During his stay in prewar Berlin, Isherwood wrote a novel titled “Goodbye to Berlin,” which served as inspiration for the 1966 Broadway musical “Cabaret.” After years of travel, collaborating with friends on literary works and finishing several books, Isherwood immigrated to California just before World War II. There, he befriended literary giants Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury and Bertrand Russell. On Valentine’s Day of 1953, Bachardy and Isherwood established a triumphant and loving bond in the face of social norms.

Directors Tina Mascara and Guido Santi shed light on Hollywood’s most astonishing couple with “Chris & Don,” which will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch. Tickets are $8 and $6 for seniors and students. For more information, call 236-3100.

“”Jake Dalton

 

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