Stonewall Riots, which took place in June 1969, in New York, is considered the impetus
for the modern-day gay liberation movement. Even though the exact details on what started it are still somewhat sketchy, what is commonly reported to have happened is that, the NYC police,
who would regularly raided and harassed the patrons at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, showed up on that summer night in June. But this time
however, the people had finally had enough; and what followed were protests and demonstrations, before
things finally quieted down, several days later. And what resulted was the creation
of gay activist organizations around the country, and the first aggressive push
for the recognition of gay rights; and the nation hasn’t looked back since.
out in late Sept, after its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, is a film about Stonewall, called appropriately enough, “Stonewall,” directed by Roland Emmerich. Yes, that Roland Emmerich, the same guy who directed those end of the world
blockbusters, such as “Independence Day,” the 1995 remake of “Godzilla,” as well as “2012,” “White
House Down,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “10,000 BC.”
By the way, “Stonewall” is actually not the first film to deal with the riots. There was a low-budget film released 20 years ago, also titled “Stonewall,” which also chronicled the
before its release, Emmerich’s upcoming film has been on the receiving end of a storm of criticism, with much online protest (in the form of articles, social media posts, and more) against the film. So what’s at the root of it all? In short, the whitewashing
of the actual event and its beginnings; when, in fact, historians say that it was actually a black drag queen, named Marsha P. Johnson, and
a Puerto Rican transgender woman, named Silvia Rivera, who actually started the riots,
neither of whom appeared to be in the film, at least based on the first trailer that was released a month ago, when the controversy began.
It appeared that barely any people of color are represented in the film, when in fact they were very active and involved during the actual rebellion.
And maybe in response to the criticism, a new clip from the film, featuring Otoja Abit playing Marsha P. Johnson, the real-life LGBT activist and pioneer of the trans movement, has been released by the film’s distributor, Roadside Attractions.
Exactly how much the character actually figures in the whole movie you’ll have to wait to watch the film to find out.
In the meantime, see the clip below.
“Stonewall” opens September 25.