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American Experience: Stonewall Uprising

 NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004AR4W4O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Stonewall Uprising 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A part of civil rights May 10, 2011
The Stonewall uprising took place in 1969 in Greenwich Village. It was a surprise for all parties concerned, the police, who never expected the gay community to fight back, and for the men and women who finally were fed up with their treatment.

This documentary presents film clips of the time, such as one that warned of the 'dangers of ruining all chance at a normal life'. There are recollections and films that point out...' notice how Albert delicately pats his hair and adjusts his collar, his movements are not those of a real boy'. This does an outstanding job of letting viewers know what the mood of the era was concerning homosexuality.

The social life of New York is described and shown in videos of the day, including news reels of the Stonewall uprising itself. Participants, police and observers are able to present their views.
This is a part of history, no matter what your opinions are and should also be viewed as a part of the movement of individuals trying to gain the right to how they believe they should be treated.
The DVD does contain English subtitles surround sound and scene selection.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
With the recent commercial success of Milk, the mainstreaming of gay culture, and the remarkable strides made with regard to gay rights, gay marriage, and gay adoption - it shouldn't surprise me that this film has come along. What surprised me after just finishing it, however, is that it took so long for this story to be made.

Very well produced (part of the exceptional PBS 'American Experience' series), these guys do a Ken Burns quality job, interviewing at least 10 people who were there during this historic time for gay civil rights in the US. Using archival footage and expert writing, the story is compelling as both a human story of struggle as well as a historical representation of a period of intense social change in 1960's New York City.

Very eye opening as a primer for our community, this documentary should be required viewing by every gay person - and highly recommended for anyone interested in marginalized communities' struggle for equality and civil rights.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the watch May 29, 2011
As other reviewers have said STONEWALL UPRISING almost as valuable for what it tells you about pre-Stonewall attitudes to homosexuality as what it tells you about Stonewall itself.

Especially the Dade County, Fla. (yeah that place again) lecture to school kids

and the clip about Atascadero State Hospital in California -- "the Dachau for queers".

You could argue that it neglects thriving subcultures in many urban centres (read George Chauncey's book, Gay New York). But there is only so much a single documentary can do.

For those who felt that STONEWALL UPRISING shortchanges the role of transvestites - have a look at SCREAMING QUEENS : THE RIOT AT COMPTON'S CAFETERIA. Which happened 3 years before Stonewall - in 1966 and was in some ways more radical if more local and less famous in its consequences.

Both documentaries leave you inspired and wanting to know more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying the rainbow flag June 18, 2012
American Experience is known for its great documentaries, and this is one of them. "The Stonewall Uprising" profiles the people behind the protest that jumpstarted the LGBT rights movement. To its credit, there are substantial interviews as well as footage from the time. What is especially tragic are the pre-Stonewall footage such as a cop lecturing frightened teenagers on how they'd be humiliated if they got caught with another person of the same sex, as well as the infamous Boys Beware (1961) which depicts all male homosexuals as creepy and predatory. "Stonewall Uprising" was groundbreaking when it happened, and its impact is felt to this day.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning April 12, 2012
On the night of June 28th, 1969, queer folk, men, women, drag queens, came out fighting from the dark of night. The following dawn, an identity and a movement were born. No longer pathology cases or `tea-room` deviants, the `twilight people` were baptized `gay` and the rest is history.

`Stonewall Uprising` documents the events that led up to the explosion outside Greenwich Village`s Stonewall Inn that torrid summer night. With unjust sex laws that criminalized homosexual behavior, 1960`s America was a dark time for gay people. Persecuted, subjected to lobotomies and electro-shock therapy, queer folk were hunted at every turn. The sole refuge was the gay bar. Tucked away on seedy alleys, they served a variety of functions for gay people. They were social clubs, counseling centers, fortresses where queer men and women could feel some sense of security. Yet, vice squads routinely entered such establishments and arrested the occupants on so-called `public indecency` charges. Police entrapment and bullying was endemic throughout American cities. Any gay person loitering anywhere could be picked up and arrested. All this changed with the courageous men and women who finally stood up on June 28th, 1969 and said enough is enough.

A smart, well-crafted documentary, `Stonewall Uprising` tells the stories of various participants of that fateful night, from the fierce drag queens to the terrified police officers trapped within the Stonewall Inn by the enraged crowd.

The first half of the film presents the dismal, fear-filled lives of many pre-Stonewall gays. Police footage of `tea-room` arrests are shown alongside such well-meaning, but grotesque documentary clips that put a human face on the clinical moniker of `homosexual.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gay rights has come a long way since 1969.
But it didn't get here by a flip of the lightswitch. The struggle was real. And difficult.

This is an exploration of the temperament of that time and an accounting of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent view of a seminal historical event!
As usual, American Experience presents an in-depth and interesting perspective on Stonewall. They were able to get many of the folks who were there during the Stonewall event to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Laura Buenrostro
5.0 out of 5 stars Stonewall documentary
An excellent documentary using historical pictures and film and some recreation; includes interviews with participants. Read more
Published 4 months ago by laura
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story Still Unfinished
I recently loaned this dvd to a young queer who told me they had no idea that homosexuality was illegal in the United States until 1969. This young person is 22 years old. Read more
Published 5 months ago by David's View
5.0 out of 5 stars Were Here And Queer!
What does one say about such an event? These people who's disarstardly crime is to love another person just get pushed to far. Read more
Published 5 months ago by jordyn skye
1.0 out of 5 stars Another PBS historical “recreation” with a warm fuzzy ending...
Another PBS historical “recreation” with a warm fuzzy ending masquerading as a documentary. OK, the first third or so of the film was a good recap of the larger historical... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Magyar
5.0 out of 5 stars The most daring and most gay public TV documentary ever
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: STONEWALL UPRISING (a/k/a THE STONE WALL UPRISING) is a typical, no-nonsense documentary outlining the unbearable pain and agony suffered by the gay community... Read more
Published 8 months ago by E. Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great LGBT history documentary
Excellent documentary of Stonewall. We ordered it for our local PFLAG chapter and everyone enjoyed watching it. Thanks to the producers.
Published 8 months ago by Sherri Lane
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing how the radio station jammed the police radios and queens...
thank you it was inspiring and uplifting i loved it if you purchase this video you must purchase vito. Read more
Published 11 months ago by david
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film!
This film is so well done and full of our LGBT history that society has tried to keep from us for all these years. It was done in the high quality as most of PBS shows! Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lyn Gwizdak
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