Stonewall Uprising

Stonewall Uprising

DVD - 2011
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Explores the dramatic event that launched a worldwide rights movement. When police raided a Mafia-run gay bar in Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, gay men and women did something they had not done before: they fought back. As the streets of New York erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations, the collective anger announced that the gay rights movement had arrived.
Publisher: [United States] : PBS Distribution, c2011.
ISBN: 9781608834006
Branch Call Number: DVD-ED 306.766 STO2307
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Sep 06, 2017

Absolutely unbelievable that this state of prejudice existed during my lifetime.

Sep 02, 2017

A well crafted PBS documentary detailing the birth of the modern gay rights movement in June of 1969 when the patrons of New York City’s Stonewall tavern, fed up with police harassment, met violence with violence after the NYPD showed up for yet another routine raid. Shedding some light on the mindset of America prior to Stonewall, directors Kate Davis and David Heilbroner show the horrors many homosexuals had to endure—including sterilization, electro-shock aversion therapy, and even lobotomies—as a society steeped in religious bigotry and homophobia tried to “cure” them of their deadly perversion. Seamlessly blending B&W re-enactments, news footage, so-called educational films demonizing gays, and a host of aging eyewitnesses this is a winning combination of social history and stories from the front line. Affirming and enraging at the same time, the effects of the Stonewall Uprising still reverberate to this day, especially now that the forces of hate and oppression are once again rearing their ugly heads in Trump-era America. Essential viewing for persons of all stripes.

May 26, 2017

"Stonewall Uprising" is a good PBS documentary about the 1969 riots, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, and the "uprising's " effect on triggering or at least rapidly escalating the Gay Rights movement.

In North America in1969, homosexuality was considered a mental illness, homosexual acts were crimes in all but one state in the the US (and were decriminalized in Canada the same year), being "outed" could destroy a person's reputation and ability to earn a living, "masquerading" by drag queens was a crime in NY, and gay gathering places were regularly raided by police, often swinging billy clubs. Clips from "educational films" make clear that the paranoia of "Reefer Madness" was no more irrational than the "Homo Madness" of the era. A particularly disturbing scene shows an expert lecturing fearful high school students on the evils of homosexuality. In my experience (I turned 17 that year), mainstream Canadian attitudes were similar to American.

Greenwich Village was one place where people had some gender freedom, partially protected from outside society, also to some degree from the law, due to payoffs from Mafia-run gay bars such as the Stonewall. Still, gay gathering places were regularly raided until, during a "crackdown", the patrons and people on the street spontaneously rebelled against the forces of law and order. A couple of speakers state that it was the "street kids" with nothing to lose who began the "uprising", and not the respectable people who could suffer loss. Another comments that gay celebrities, such as Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and Liberace, managed to live an "out" lifestyle not available to ordinary folks. At any rate, the Stonewall riots were followed by the first "gay rights" marches, and the rapid growth of what had been a small movement.

"Stonewall Uprising" provides commentary from a number of participants -- bar patrons, street kids, a detective, and two Village Voice reporters who stumbled onto the riot. Most are male, though we hear from a couple of lesbians. Surprisingly, all commentators are of European descent though the scene was racially mixed, which seems like a major oversight on the part of PBS. Another problem with the documentary is that, because of a lack of contemporary television and newspaper coverage, there are few audio-visual documents of the events; scenes are therefore re-created, leaving us not always knowing whether we are witnessing the real events or historical fiction. However, I would strongly recommend this DVD to anyone interested in LGBT issues, American social history, youth-culture protest movements, or simply curious as to why LGBT people are now "Loud and Proud."

Nov 14, 2016

Interesting documentary in black & white. Can't remember where I was in 1969 when this gay right movement was going on.

Jun 24, 2016

I highly recommend this PBS documentary. If you enjoy stories about history or social justice, you'll love it.

Feb 08, 2016

This is a 2011 "American Experience" documentary from PBS. It is an excellent and personal account of the way the nation viewed homosexuality in the 1960's, and the horrible things people who were discovered to be homosexual suffered. The commentators put the importance of the Stonewall Bar to the gay and lesbian community into perspective and then give a detailed and personal account of the uprising. I thought this film was very well done and appreciated hearing from the participants about the effect this event had on them.

Apr 02, 2012

An interesting look at a keystone event that triggered the gay rights movement. Interviews of police, reporters, and activists. Shocking use of filthy trucks used to transport meat in the '60s. The movie does drag a bit in places, but is worth looking at if you have an interested in political and social movements.


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