"Love, No Matter What"
A Review of "No Dress Code Required" by Nathan H. Box
Director/Writer: Cristina Herrera Borquez
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME!
For my 7th film of the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival, I wanted to be reminded of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice". The bend of that arc is rarely short or earned without sacrifice. Once upon a time, couples of different races weren't allowed to be married in this country but the arc of justice changed that. Once upon a time, loving gay and lesbian couples weren't allowed to marry the person they loved most but the arc of justice changed that. Go home tonight, look your spouse in the eyes, let the love you feel for that person wash over you, and then imagine that man's law wouldn't allow you to express that love through a public profession of commitment.
As far as the LGBTQ movement to legally recognized marriages is concerned, the United States wasn't the first among other industrialized countries, but not long ago we finally arrived at our own moral arc. That victory was not the end of the battle, though. Justice shouldn't depend on where you were born or where you live. Justice should be universal. The importance of a Mexican documentary like "No Dress Code Required" is a demonstration of the battles yet to be won.
The film focuses on a couple in love from Baja California, Mexico. Like most couples in love and ready for the next step, they find themselves in the middle of preparing for a huge wedding and celebration. There is only one problem, their marriage isn't legal because they are of the same gender. Their journey grows more frustrating from there as the Supreme Court of Mexico grants them the right to get married but local officials throw roadblock after roadblock in their way to keep the marriage from being legally recognized. Every step is a fight and some of them are utterly heartbreaking.
As an audience member focused on equity and universal rights, their love is both inspiring and motivating. Motivating because there is still work to be done in the LGBTQ movement. Just because we've achieved legal marriage for all in the United States doesn't mean we are allowed to rest. We can never rest until all are allowed to experience justice and the right to marry the person they love.
Be good to each other,