Stonewall (1995)
Director: Nigel Finch
Actors: Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Brendan Corbalis
Runtime: 99 min

In the early morning hours of 28 June 1969 in front of the New York bar Stonewall there was a violent confrontation between police and a large number of gays, lesbians, transvestites…

This movie follows a young gay who just arrived in town, several drag queens who are regulars in Stonewall and a group of gay activists in the days preceding the riot. Stonewall was a gay bar in Greenwich Village where the poorest people from the gay community used to go – transvestites, homeless gay youth, male prostitutes, and others from the margin. At the same time it was the only gay bar in New York where dancing was allowed.

In this period, little was allowed to gays in USA: in the years immediately after the Second World War, thousands of people lost their jobs in the military and government for suspicion of being gay. During the 1950s and 1960s, the FBI kept lists of homosexuals, and the American Psychiatric Association regarded homosexuality as a “sociopathic personality disorder” and “treated” it through the administration of electroshocks. Police made constant raids on gay bars, the customers were arrested, their pictures published in the newspapers.

This period also witnessed a rise of progressive and liberation movements which marked the 1960s, and it was only a question of when this enormous suffering, discontent and discrimination of the gay community will spill over into the fight for equal rights. When during a police raid on the Stonewall, gays spontaneously confronted the police, this sparked large riots and later the formation of activist organizations, first in New York and then in many other cities. A year later, on 28 June 1970, in memory of these events the first Gay Pride ever was organized in the New York City. Based on actual events.

You can download this film or watch it online.

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