Living in the Overlap is the improbably true story of two girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, falling in love in the Midwest, and making a life together in North Carolina.
Filmmakers learned about Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin’s 46-year love story from a newspaper article and wanted to share their philosophy of relationships and their vibrant personalities with a larger audience. Lennie is an attorney focusing on LGBT issues, and Pearl is a retired professor working on various political issues. They are surprised to have reached icon status for simply living their lives together. The film includes public and private moments in Lennie and Pearl’s lives using interviews, archival material, and sequences shot during their efforts to defeat North Carolina’s anti-gay marriage amendment.
Living in the Overlap provides an overview of how Lennie and Pearl met and fell in love before focusing largely on key episodes in their lives together now. They are recent recipients of a major award from a foundation supporting LGBT issues, an award presented at a formal gala. Despite strong efforts against the measure, the amendment passed, and they appeared on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell after the election. Along with reflections and insights about civil rights and the political process, they offer wisdom about enduring relationships, including an overarching philosophy of their relationship. They think of themselves as two circles, often overlapping, who are both independent and interdependent. After 46-years of living in the overlap, Lennie and Pearl still have an indelible spark.