What do you think of when you picture a decades-long love? Depending on who you are and where you live in the world, it more than likely looks different person to person. But, it probably all boils down to one simple thing: a mutual partnership between two people who really, truly care about one another. Netflix’s latest documentary series, My Love: Six Stories of True Love, tries to capture just what this means all over the globe, taking us into the lives of six different couples who have all been together for over 40 years. The episodes, helmed by directors from each corresponding country, all focus on a different partnership, geographical region, and culture. It wasn’t an easy feat to undertake, let alone locate six couples well over the age of 50 who were willing to let a camera crew into their home for an entire year.
“When we were building the series, [one of the first things we did was] talk about what a healthy relationship looks like to us,” Xan Aranda, showrunner and co-executive producer, explained over the phone to Refinery29 in early April. “Not only that, but what are the social and political implications of a story from their countries in this time, encompassing a life span between this couple?”
There was no casting call for the series, so the filmmakers literally had to go door to door. But the couples they chose were “people who would never have responded in the first place to a casting call.”
“We wanted to know, how do they spend their time now?” Aranda continued. “Do they appreciate each other and observable ways? Are they socially active? Are they connected to their culture? We thought it was really important that they be connected to their community or at least their families, in some way so that it's not just a story between them, but [their surroundings].”
While each of the six episodes is a complete, self-contained story, the filmmakers were with the couples for a solid year so not everything made it into the final product. Luckily, Aranda was able to share a few gems that ended up on the cutting room floor.
One thing to note is that a few couples are seen celebrating the start of a new year — 2020, to be exact. While some documentaries tend to wrap up with an explainer of where the subjects are now, My Love offers no update as to where anyone is now, let alone if they survived the pandemic. Rest assured, Aranda confirms everyone is doing okay, but anything related to COVID was cut from the series — even though one pairing did weather some (temporary) challenges during the early months of 2020.