Queens World Film Festival 2017 Official Selection, Over Oceans tells the story of an interracial couple whose courtship and marriage took place two years before the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional in 1967.
Growing up I used to make my mom tell me how she and my father met again and again because it was nothing short of a real life fairy tale. Love at first sight that has gone on for decades – does that happen in real life? As an adult I realized how special their story actually is and as an editor I knew I could do something to not only pay tribute to them but also share their story with others.
The timing is coincidental that America’s current racial climate is reminiscent of the 60s, but it makes their story all the more important to hear because it truly is an American story. My father came to the US from the Philippines to do a medical residency and had intended to go back home once it was complete. He was even going to return with my mother after they decided to get married, but he became an immigrant once they decided to stay despite the intolerance they faced. Their more than fifty years together only proves that love endures.
Though my parents are not political people, they committed a major political act by falling in love with each other. Over Oceans is a tribute to their strength of character and determination to see love through in a time when interracial relationships were not widely accepted.
When we hear about interracial marriages both today but in particular around the time of Loving vs. the State of Virginia (the case that sparked the SCOTUS decision), we often think of the races of the two people being Black and White. The two people who fell in love and eventually married in this film are White and Filipino.
Over Oceans tells the story of my parents’ love for each other both then and right up through the present day, recounting of memories, portraits emerge of a woman who needs to remember, a man who lives in the present, and a couple whose love beat the odds to be together for fifty years and still counting.
Lisa Tan used to make her Jersey born caucasian mom tell her how she and her Filiipino father met again and again because it was nothing short of a real life fairy tale. Love at first sight that has gone on for decades – does that happen in real life? As an adult she realized how special their story actually is and as a video editor in tv promotion she knew she could do something to not only pay tribute to them but also share their story with others. This is her first documentary film and was produced, directed and edited with lots of love, as there was no budget to hire anyone else. She recently earned her Media Masters from The New School in NYC where the documentary was inspired, encouraged and completed. Over Oceans was screened at the Queens World Film Festival in March.
To see other films Lisa Tan has made, visit her Vimeo page.