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Chris & Don: A Love Story

A new doc on writer Christopher Isherwood and his longtime partner, Don Bachardy

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In purely cinematic terms, the death in 1986 of Christopher Isherwood seems little hindrance to Guido Santi and Tina Mascara's heartfelt documentary about the British writer's long romantic partnership with Don Bachardy, an American 30 years his junior. Bachardy, now a trim septugenarian, mostly narrates what happened starting in the early '50s, when Isherwood (who wrote the novel that became Cabaret) met a teen-age Southern California movie nut. Friends like actress Leslie Caron chip in on Isherwood's mentorship, Bachardy's struggle to find himself as a man and artist, and their lives as privileged anomalies: out queers in 1960s Hollywood. But this film's glory just might be the beautiful, silent color home movies of the lovers' days together. There is also some touching interpretative animation, while Bachardy's achingly poignant portraits of Isherwood in his final months balance any nostalgia with clear-eyed empathy. Sat., Oct. 4, through Thu., Oct. 9. Harris (Bill O'Driscoll)

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