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Jennifer M. Kroot
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Maxwell Scott Anderson
The role of the June, 1969 Stonewall Riots - so named for the Greenwich Village gay hotel and bar, the Stonewall Inn, in front of which the riots occurred - in gay liberation and the foundation of gay rights in the United States is presented. The riots are largely seen as the turning point in establishing what gay rights there are today. The societal situation for homosexual men and women - including the laws of the day - in the mid-1960s before the riots is presented. Those include forty-nine of fifty states banning homosexuality, homosexual men and women being able to be arrested for a plethora of reasons outside of gay sex (those reasons for which straight people would probably not be arrested), the rise of a homosexual enclave in among other places a one block stretch on Columbus Street in Greenwich Village, and no homosexual man or woman in the United States truly being "out". Those involved on both sides of the riots discuss the situation that led to the first night truly ...Written by
Documentary about the Stonewall riots back in 1969 that started the gay rights movement. People who were involved in the riots are interviewed--gay men, lesbians and even a police officer. They paint an incredibly horrific picture of how gay men and lesbians were treated back then. They also show some truly fascinating clips from TV specials about homosexuality done back in 1967. It makes it clear that gays are mentally ill and chose this way of life (of course this is all ridiculous). Then they get to the riot. There's no footage of it happening but they show us pictures and all the participants describe what happened and the aftermath.
This is a good documentary--not great but good. It's well-done and all but it lacks that certain spark to make it great. Also a lot of this material was covered in the 1980s documentary "Before Stonewall". I've read the books about it and saw the (fictional) 1995 movie "Stonewall" so none of this material was surprising. Maybe that's why it didn't work completely for me. Still this is an important film for everybody to see and realize how horribly gays and lesbians were treated before they fought back. Younger gays especially should see this and realize how they should be grateful that things are so much better now.
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