Cherry Grove Stories (2017)

| Documentary
This documentary film by Michael Fisher recounts the unique character of Cherry Grove, a community on Fire Island, New York. Cherry Grove became a safe haven for gays during a time when two... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Fisher
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Status: Completed | See complete list of  »
Updated: 16 August 2017
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This documentary film by Michael Fisher recounts the unique character of Cherry Grove, a community on Fire Island, New York. Cherry Grove became a safe haven for gays during a time when two men holding hands in public was illegal. Fisher's interviews with residents expose hidden stories and unknown facts that need to be told.

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Documentary

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

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User Reviews

 
They just wanted some freedom to be themselves
15 October 2018 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Cherry Grove Stories (2017) is a documentary directed by Michael Fisher. It's about the Cherry Grove community on Fire Island, a tiny piece of land off the coast of Long Island.

Houses in Cherry Grove were bought by gays and lesbians in the 1950's. We have to remind ourselves of how hard life was for gays and lesbians 60 years ago. It's still not an easy life, but it's far better than it was then.

Cherry Grove was a location where lesbians and gays were in the majority. It must have been almost magical to be openly gay or lesbian in that community. How many other places were there, even in New York City, where you could feel comfortable with displaying your sexuality?

Cherry Grove served that purpose, and still does. However, then, as now, society could and would intrude. Police would raid the community, and still do. Cherry Grove wasn't exactly heaven on earth, especially in the 1980's when the HIV/AIDS epidemic struck. Still, even then, if you were gay or lesbian, it was better to be in Cherry Grove than almost anywhere else.

The documentary consists mostly of talking heads, but what the people want to tell us is interesting. There's some archival footage that's interesting as well. However, even at just 77 minutes, the movie appeared too long to me. How many shots do we need of waves rolling onto the beach?

We saw this movie in the Little Theatre, as part of Rochester's excellent ImageOut, the LGBT Film Festival. It will work well enough on the small screen.


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