Chris & Don

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Chris & Don
Chris&Don film.jpg
Directed by Guido Santi
Tina Mascara
Produced by James White
Tina Mascara Guido Santi
Andrew Herwitz
Starring Christopher Isherwood
Don Bachardy
Narrated by Michael York
Music by Miriam Cutler
Cinematography Ralph Q. Smith
Distributed by Zeitgeist Films
Release date
  • August 31, 2007 (2007-08-31) (Telluride Film Festival)
  • June 13, 2008 (2008-06-13) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Chris & Don: A Love Story is a 2007 documentary film that chronicles the lifelong relationship between author Christopher Isherwood and his much younger lover, artist Don Bachardy. Chris & Don combines present-day interviews, archival footage shot by the couple from the 1950s, excerpts from Isherwood's diaries, and playful animations to recount their romance. It was directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara, and was the centerpiece film at NewFest, the New York LGBTQ Film Festival, in 2008.


Chris & Don tells the story of a romance that began on the beaches of Santa Monica in the 1950s, when Christopher Isherwood at age 48 met Don Bachardy who then was eighteen years old. Isherwood, an established author with works such as The Berlin Stories, which helped inspire much of Cabaret, helped Bachardy discover and develop his affinity for drawing and painting as he became a renowned portrait painter during the second half of the 20th century to the present. The documentary includes insight from friends, including Liza Minnelli and John Boorman, who tell of the countless struggles the two faced as one of the first openly gay couples in Hollywood. Despite the age difference, the couple endured until Isherwood succumbed to prostate cancer in 1986.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator MetaCritic reported a score of 83 out of 100, based on 12 reviews from major newspapers and magazines.[1] Many critics also drew parallels between the California Supreme Court ruling affirming same-sex marriage and the release of the film.[2]


  1. ^ "Chris & Don on MetaCritic". MetaCritic. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  2. ^ Hardy, Ernest (June 10, 2008). "Opposites Attract in Chris & Don; Portrait of the artist as a young man (and his lover as an old one)". Village Voice. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]