Note: This post is an assignment for a School Library Media/Materials course.


Buirski, N. (Producer & Director). (2011). The Loving story [Motion Picture]. USA: HBO Documentary Films.

Qualitative Analysis (Text Complexity measure analyzed using SCASS/Achieve the Core):

The Loving Story can be seen as moderately complex.

Text Structure: Organization: Connections between ideas and events are implicit or subtle; organization is evident and generally sequential or chronological. Text features and use of graphics enhance the reader’s understanding of content by providing background information.

Language features: Language is conventional and easily understandable.  The vocabulary consists of contemporary, familiar, and conversational language. Even legal terminology is explained in layman’s terms and is easy to follow. The language is primarily simple and compound sentences.

Purpose: The purpose is explicitly stated, clear, concrete, and narrowly focused.

Knowledge Demands: The film relies on common practical knowledge and some discipline-specific content knowledge (basic law). The film includes a mix of simple and more complicated, abstract ideas.  There are few references or allusions to other texts or outside ideas or theories.


As this is a documentary, the film may be edited to elicit a specific emotional response or posit a specific point of view (media grammar).

Curricular Content standards:

AASL 21st Century Standards:

1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.

1.1.3 Develop and refine a range of questions to frame the search for new understanding.

1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer

2.1.3 Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledge to curricular areas, real-world situations, and further investigations.

2.3.1 Connect understanding to the real world.

4.1.4 Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres.

4.1.1 Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth.

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.6 Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


I feel this film has a lot of connections to current events, especially now that the Supreme Court is hearing the case about same-sex marriage. Students could easily use this this film to talk about the legal process as well as history of civil rights and connect the events of the film to current civil rights issues in African American communities and in relation to same-sex marriage.


The Loving Story