on July 10, 1999
Seeing where gays and lesbians have come from; the elated triumphs and horrible tragedies they endured, gives me an incredible appreciation for the rights I am beginning to enjoy. The sexual revolution of the 1970's through the horror of the eighties and the hope of the nineties, "After Stonewall," gives an incredibly inspirational portrayal of the gay and lesbian struggle for acceptance and normalcy.
One night in June 1969, a group of people, tired of intolerance from the New York City police department, decided for once they weren't going to take it anymore, and give birth to the modern gay rights movement in the United States. Thirty five years later, it's amazing to see both how far we've come and how far we have yet to go.
After Stonewall depicts the struggle evolving from those empowering nights in New York City, and how it blossomed into a national movement. Long a mecca for the Bohemians of society, New york City is a natural birthplace for such a movement. Now, we see how that movement grew, through the times of trial of the AIDS epidemic, to the growth of the Religious Right and their ultimate intolerance.
This video does try to capture too much in too short of time, but the effect is quick and yet inspirational. It was amazing to listen to those people who were at ground zero of the AIDS epidemic, and the response of the community to it. The section of the AIDS quilt will immediately bring tears; it's poignant and heartbreaking. This documentary stops short of the millenium, but it manages to cover a wide-range of issues.
It's critical as a community that we embrace where we've come from. It seems as we traverse times of trial and tribulation, it's important to understand our roots. It's those roots, based in the stories that are in this movie, that ground us and help instill a sense a pride in where we've come from, and where we'll be going. With that pride comes strength, strength of will, strength of character. The people who so bravely walked before us, are our sources of self-empowerment.
Watch this move, learn, and live.
on October 28, 2012
Well, STONEWALL was the first gay club, to fight off the harassment from the Police. Of course here in Smallville, Lima, Ohio, Police raided a gay club (The OFFICE?), here too. But the gays won, with the help of the American Civil Liberties joining in their defense. Twenty years later, or longer, harassment of the gay population continues. I had Studio D in Flint, way before Stonewall. They came in with shotguns and pistols raised...without any warrant. Glad those days are now gone and gay life is now accepted in most cities.
I am in Federal Court in Toledo fighting for my Studio D here in Lima. So, I am interested in the DVD called STONEWALL and the DVD mentioned here, "AFTER STONEWALL." I went through all of this crap most of my life. I had nudist books, before porn and had to fight for the right of adults, who should and could read whatever they wanted to read.
Since this post, the building for the Lima Gay Community Center in Lima was demolished. An illegal foreclosure and demolition. Now going back into the Federal court for monetary damages and criminal charges against city personnel..
on July 5, 2006
the perfect follow-up to 'The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community: Before Stonewall' I've seen both along with another called 'Dangerous Living' - describing the situation in the developing world. These three DVD's are essential and entertaining tools for anyone wanting to help others understand the GBLT community around the world.
on February 12, 2011
I basically like this documentary and have recommended it to friends, but parts of it make me cringe as a historian. On the positive side, it brings together a wonderful mix of archival footage (much of which I hadn't seen before) and great interviews. The analysis of individual events is good. The editing is compelling, entertaining and dramatic without feeling contrived or forced.
However, the broad historical narrative it presents is sometimes misleading. This is because the film reorders events, suggesting false cause-and-effect linkages. For instance, it suggests that the anti-gay crusades of Anita Bryant and Sen. Briggs (in 1977 and 1978) led to the founding of the National Gay Task Force (which actually occurred years earlier) and to a spate of anti-gay arson fires (also years earlier). It suggests that the anti-gay backlash surrounding the death of Rock Hudson happened after the Supreme Court's Bower v. Hardwick decision (1986) and after the wave of gay political activism in response to the Bower verdict (mostly in 1987), whereas Hudson had died the year before the Court ruling. It does this sort of thing again and again.
Presumably the goal was to create a more linear narrative, but it's bad history. I enjoy this documentary very much but please don't use it as your only source of information on the history of the gay community from the 1970s to 1990s.
This somewhat disconnected segue of Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (see my review; I don't really think it is a sequel, precisely) is as excellent as its predecessor. Narrated by Melissa Etheridge, it does indeed pick up where BEFORE STONEWALL left off ... though I am a bit disappointed that neither documentary addressed the event of the Stone Wall [original spelling] Bar, and how it changed American history.
AFTER STONEWALL leaps away from the WWII generation of gays and lesbians who were covered in BEFORE STONEWALL. This documentary charges onward with gay American history beginning in the 1970s. While not as intimately quirky as BEFORE STONEWALL, it addresses its target crowd: twenty-something gay people with political axes to grind.
As to that, I'd like to add that this documentary is really missing solid political input. Its preceding documentary counterpart at least had some government officials talking about their anti-gay policies. This film, however, seems to avoid the subject altogether. We have to realize that today, with Don't Ask Don't Tell being held to the fire, we still have political axes to grind.
This is an excellent overall documentary, though a bit of a limp shadow of its predecessor. And I cannot think of a worse narrator than Melissa Etheridge!
on March 10, 2015
a must see documentary for anyone interested in the progression of civil rights. Start with The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria - then Before Stonewall - The Stonewall Uprising - then After Stonewall. and for a more sentimental touch Edie and Thea A Very Long Engagement.
It is sometimes necessary to explain what Stonewall was. In 1960s New York, it was illegal to be homosexual, and gays and lesbian bars were generally mob controlled venues that made pay offs to the police in order to stay open. Located in the gay enclave of Greenwich Village, Stonewall was a seedy bar where watered-down drinks were the norm and the owners didn't much care if you liked it or not: you took it or left it. From time to time the police came around; most of the time they were looking for a pay off, but sometimes they had instructions to crack down on vice. And that is what happened on 27 June 1969, with police officers arresting bar patrons. But on this occasion tempers flared. The bar patrons had had enough and they fought back. The battle spilled into the street, the police took cover inside the bar, and the gays and lesbians tried to burn it down with the police inside. The Stonewall Riots continued on and off for several days, shutting down a big chunk of New York in the process. Today the riots are seen as the turning point in the struggle for gay and lesbian equality.
Well, maybe. The trouble with people who live in New York and Los Angeles and other major urban areas is that they usually discount everybody else, and AFTER STONEWALL is no different in this than its predecesor and companion piece BEFORE STONEWALL. I'd say the national turning point came a decade later when Anita Bryant discovered gays and lesbians had enough leverage to have her fired as spokeswoman for Florida orange juice and when Harvey Milk showed that gays and lesbians could actually be elected to public office, both moments in history that are covered, albeit briefly, by this film; we get to see Anita's pie in the face but not a word is said about the San Francisco riots. AFTER STONEWALL is also similar to BEFORE STONEWALL in that it tends to be upbeat, peppy, and tries to make you feel the bad old days weren't so bad at all--which is a pretty tall order, given the advent of HIV/AIDS. Even so, and in spite of several time-line failures, the documentary is an interesting one, and somewhat better than the first film that inspired it.
As usual in the sorts of things, talking heads abound. Rita Mae Brown is extremely enjoyable; it's a pity we don't see more of her in this program. The much loved (and also greatly despised, although the film never addresses it) Harry Hay is on hand, this time with the so-called (and extremely tiresome) radical fairies, and Larry Kramer--who was among the first to sound the HIV/AIDS alarm--is as fascinating as ever. There is footage from ACT UP and Queer Nation and similar action groups, and plenty of footage of the various marches on Washington and the quilt and so on. The film also touches on, but never really addresses, what happened to bring the whole movement to a sudden halt: mainstream acceptability that increased until the entire subject became passe. The DVD includes numerous extended interviews as bonus material. Recommended, but perhaps a little too self-praising for its own good.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
on June 20, 2008
Along with Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community and Paris Is Burning, AFTER STONEWALL is another documentary that is indispensable in learning about LGBT history.
AFTER STONEWALL picks up where Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community left off--right at the flash point of the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, 1969. It's narrated by Melissa Etheridge and shows incredible footage of police raids on gay bars, pride marches, and protests. And it includes footage from hate mongers Anita Bryant, Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell.
There are also still pictures and news paper clippings that help exemplify what was happening at the time. Interviews with LGBT activists like Dorothy Allison, Barbara Gittings, Harry Hay, Larry Kramer, Jewelle Gomez and others, who could not or would not hide in the shadows, only punctuate the story.
And the story goes right into the AIDS epidemic and the many that died as a result of government inaction. The film takes the viewer up to 1999 and shows how far the LGBT community has come...and how much farther we still must go.
When you see the struggle that these LGBT people took upon their shoulders, I defy anyone NOT to understand why we celebrate gay pride day. It is because of these brave souls that have made my generation and each successive generation of LGBT people lives a little easier.
I recommend this documentary to anyone who's gay or lesbian or who has a family member that is. The film runs about 88-minutes and has extra features that include: interview with director John Scagliotti; Dorothy Allison and Jewelle Gomez remember Vito Russo(The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies); Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series, V. 1)) talks about the Christian Right and the pressure on PBS to halt production of More Tales of the City mini-series; Barney Frank talks about travel with ex-boyfriend; Jewelle Gomez discusses the power of poetry; and Dorothy Allison discusses her alternative family that includes her lover, and their best friend who is a gay man who fathered their son.
Although trans-gendered issues are lacking in this documentary, I cannot sing the praises of this film enough!
on March 26, 2010
This is an historically accurate, moving presentation of the struggles, some of which gay people still experience, that gay people triumphed over during what we now know as "Stonewall". It is inspirational, and gives an appreciation of how seriously discriminated against gays & lesbians, were and what they were willing to go through to believe in,support, and further themselves as "worthy" society-contributing individuals!! I'd seen it before I purchased it and treasure it's content. A wonderfully real and honest presentation.