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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Documentary: "Brothers and Sisters in Love"

During the mid-to-late ‘00s there were a bunch of documentaries made about genetic sexual attraction, motivated by the high profile arrests and court cases at the time. I recently found Brothers and Sisters in Love. (It wasn’t easy.) It was apparently made in response to that other British documentary on GSA, which was generally sympathetic to the couples, and seemed to argue for some kind of social acceptance.

This documentary takes a much more complicated (and sour) tone. It has the sympathy one might have for the victim of a car crash. Of course in many cases the feelings are unrequited, and sometimes it’s best to pursue a platonic relationship, but that is not the case for everyone. Not everyone can just move on. Yes, it can be very complex, but this documentary actually supports (maybe inadvertently) that most of what makes GSA relationships complicated is how other people react. I can’t help but feel that this documentary is trying to impose a one-size-fits-all view of GSA, that it’s tragic but that everyone should abstain.

Despite all of that though, the documentary is full of great moments in support of accepting GSA couples. They couldn’t avoid the power of real people defiantly standing up for themselves. (I’m sure they realized it makes for a more compelling documentary as well.)

The self-confidence of the woman in this clip makes me smile so much.

There’s also the lawyer of the Stuebing siblings. I really wish he’d succeeded in his case. At least it started a conversation.

Then there's this great illustration of why I even use the word “consanguinamory”.

One thing I do appreciate about the documentary though, is the argument it seems to be making that it can only help if society has a better, more sympathetic understanding of GSA. Some of their choices are weird, though. Despite being about sibling couples, they quickly throw one mother-son couple in, a couple who were traumatized by the sudden extreme psychological dissonance brought about by the conflict between their disgust at the idea of “incest” and their overwhelming desire to commit “incest”. Having only one interview like that sends a weird message. I know for a fact that it’s not representative.

Anyway. Watch it in full for yourself and decide what you think. Despite my dislike of its editorial attitude, I think it’s possibly the best documentary on GSA out there. (Then again, there isn’t much competition.)


  1. I hate what happened with Patrick and Susan. I was in constant outrage seeing the way they had been treated and when the court's final ruling went against them I just wanted to punch my computer screen. Such bullshit. They were not harming anyone. Live and let live.

    1. I know. I had a similar reaction. I still find it grotesque when I watch it.

  2. Hey, it's rainbowamory.
    I had pretty much the same reactions that you did. It always amazes me how perceptive you are to the subtleties of media bias. This is a very important thing to be aware of when watching anything about marginalized people... I hope more people look at things in as intelligent a way as you do. :)

    1. Well I wouldn't say that everyone who disagrees with me isn't as intelligent, but I do hope that people come around to my way of thinking some day.