Netflix recently released a six-episode documentary series all about romantic love called My Love: Six Stories of True Love. The series follows six couples from Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Spain, and the U.S. for over a course of a year, pre-pandemic. A local director in that country follows each couple, who have been together from anywhere from 40 to 60 years, on their daily routines and showcases the sparks that still light their relationships. It’s not an easy task to put all of these stories together. That’s where executive producer Jin Moyoung comes in.
Inspired and expanded from Jin’s documentary My Love, Don’t Cross That River, Jin wanted to share more stories of love that were rooted in reality and hoped that viewers would learn valuable lessons from watching these couples. “There are various forms of fun and moving stories,” Jin wrote in an email to The Nerds of Color. “Stories with spectacles and suspense can energize you, but I think the real stories of documentaries may have greater power in bringing impactful changes and inspiration to our lives and our attitudes.”
Jin and showrunner Xan Aranda received hundreds of submissions from local directors from around the world of beautiful couples, but whittled down the selection to only six couples who Jin believed shared unmistakable traits of love. “They exhibited no authority of patriarchy, had a great sense of humor to ease tension, and responded to their partner’s every word and gesture actively, but also very gently,” Jin said. “These behaviors may be mimicked for a while, but you can see if they’re genuine or not if you spend a little bit of time watching the couple.”
The docu-series focuses on elderly couples who have been together for many years and still were happily in love. Although Jin did look for reasonably healthy people despite their age who would be able to carry out their daily tasks, his main priority was finding couples who spent most of the day together and are still able to naturally express their love for each other in words or by action. The series does do a beautiful job sharing those declarations of love. In the episode starring a Korean couple, directed by Jin himself, Saengia and Yeongsam are celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary, in which Yeongsam writes a sweet love letter to his wife which leaves both of them in tears. Throughout the episode, you can feel the genuine love between the two as they work together on their abalone farm. Concerned over Saengia’s deteriorating body from years of work, Yeongsam tells his wife, “I don’t need anyone. You’re all I need. So stay with me for a long time and take me with you when you go.”
Jin has learned a lot about love and companionship from his work on the series. “I think anyone would want to end up with a good partner,” Jin shared. “It’s one of the greatest blessings in life. It’s important to meet a good partner, but what’s more important is to make sure you’re ready to love, and throughout your life, work hard to become a person capable of love. All the participants in the series were people of mature character who were ready to bear the partner’s burdens even in the most difficult moment.”
With each episode only following the couples for a year of their life in 2019, the series does not provide an update on the conditions of the couples. Instead of a black card with information post-filming, the episode ends with old photos of the couples. Jin says all of this was done on purpose. “The series adopts a way of exploring how to love through couples who live in the present day, not through a story from the past,” Jin explains. “We wanted to wholly capture what love is through what’s present. That’s why we decided to show an old photo of each couple towards the very end so that the long years that they spent together and their love can have a lasting impression on the viewers.”
With Netflix streaming in over 190 countries, Jin hopes he can tell more love stories from around the world. He thinks these stories will resonate with so many people because love is universal. “This is the first series that we made and we started with six countries,” Jin said. “I wish I could create beautiful and endearing stories on love in all of the 190 countries to share them with the viewers.”
My Love: Six Stories of True Love is available now on Netflix