The Academy Awards will be handed out this evening. You probably have heard about or scene all of the movies nominated for best picture, best actor and actress, and best director. However, you are less likely to have heard about a film nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary short subject, Edith + Eddie.
The short film tells the story of Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud about caring for an aging parent that threatens to tear the couple apart. The movie begins in the fall of 2014 with Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, who were married only a few months before, enjoying a series of intimate moments — dancing together, holding hands, exercising and chatting comfortably. It ends months later with the couple being separated by Edith’s court-appointed legal guardian, with police on the scene, and Edith taken off abruptly to Florida. Shockingly, Eddie died only a few weeks later.
There are allegations from one of Edith’s daughters about money issues and possession of the family home, as well as insinuations of racism (Edith is black, Eddie is white). The movie is also critical of the legal guardianship system in the US by its failing to adequately protect elders.
However, as I have learned in my close to 20 years as an elder care law attorney, family disputes about how to care for frail, vulnerable elderly parents are inevitably complicated and full of unresolved emotional issues. The focus should always be on what is in the best interest of the elderly parent. Hopefully, Edith + Eddie can create a dialogue on aging in America and the role of the courts to act in the best interest of the elder.
You can watch the short film at the below link: