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The Right To Love: An American Family by Edwin Wendler (Review)

posted Apr 16, 2012, 9:27 PM by Kaya Savas

Edwin Wendler delivers a delicate and stirringly emotional score to this great documentary. The Right To Love is a story about equality for homosexuals and their right to marry. It follows one family where two gay men are raising two children, and are trying to break the misconception that gay marriage destroys family values. I could go into a long rant against people, the government, religion and all that's out there preventing total equality amongst humans. But I won't. We're here to talk music and that's what we'll do. Wendler has crafted a really fantastic score that hits all the emotional nuances of the story and conflict.

The score is a short 22-minutes, but it manages to absorb you into this space and hold you there. The music flows very naturally and is able to evoke a sense of struggle mixed with despair. He is able to allow the score to do a lot without the music ever becoming too intrusive. I say "too" intrusive only because I think music should do some sort of intruding so I don't mean it negatively. It's a balance that's hard to achieve in documentary scoring, but Wendler finds the perfect balance for the music. There are just enough melodies and motifs to give the score a grounding identity, but nothing that would distract from what's on the screen. The score highlights the struggle being depicted very well. While there is a hint of optimism in the music it never gives us the "happy ending", and that's because there isn't one yet. The topic of marriage equality is still something people have to deal with and overcome.

The Right To Love is an important documentary and Edwin Wendler's score does a fantastic job of supporting the emotions of the story. This is a documentary score that is able to do a lot with a little. It's not a big score, but in the end it tells a story that needs to be told.
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