After Stonewall Reviews
Showing the gay civil rights movement from Stonewall to the late 90s, through the free love of the 70s, the dawn of AIDS, ACT UP, the Names Project, Dont Ask Dont Tell, Matthew Shepherd, and the coming out of Ellen Degeneres.
Unlike the others, there is a stronger focus on the confluence of civil rights movements in the United States...how the black/civil rights movement laid a path for the queer movement and the womens movement, (mixed with hippie like movements too)and how they all bounced off of each other.
After Stonewall also doesnt only focus on gay men, but on lesbians, and GBLTQ people of color, which has been missing in the other documentaries I've seen so far.
This optimistic Melissa Etheridge-narrated composition dials up the pixels of a period in history and sees it as a storm of individual memories and personal epiphanies accented by palpable benchmarks like disco, San Francisco, Anita Bryant, Harvey Milk, AIDS, Rock Hudson and the betrayal that was "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It is illuminating that more than once in this relatively positive and buoyant doc, everyone seems as if to have a particular, inimitable remembrance in which they declare to have understood that their task in the gay movement has reached its fulfillment.
Despite the fact that the ultimate breakdown exposing a documentary that on the whole simmers three decades of the gay rights movement down to disjointed, particular separate acts, it would be unreasonable to consider each remote epiphany in doubt. With expressive, colloquial interviewees like Allison, Larry Kramer, Barbara Gittings, and Charles Ching offering review, isolated moments of clarification come out seemed like t. Nor is it to After Stonewall's detriment to suggest that it pretty much organized itself, and all Scagliotti had to do was keep the pace up in the editing room.
Toward the end of the documentary, the Rev. Troy Perry declares that the most important thing gays and lesbians have done to change the world has been coming out of the closet. In other words, forget all the pride parades, the political lobby efforts, the letters to congressmen, the increasing commercialization of the gay dollarā?¦the last piece of the puzzle, both he and the patchwork After Stonewall (alright, and me) seem to be saying, in staving off what could easily turn out to be an extremely lean period in social history for gay rights is to ensure that as many people as possible can put the face of a close individual on the complex, volatile, and nebulous identity of what is so often viciously attacked as "The Gay Agenda."
What is the movie's focus is how the riots changed the world. Many of those interviewed had been part of the gay scene before the riots, too, but Stonewall redefined their world. Gay rights were suddenly an issue, with the placid, nondemonstrative groups of previous years giving forth to true activism. After Stonewall, there was the Gay Liberation Front. There was Harvey Milk. There were parades and heroes. And, inevitably, there was AIDS and the loss of a generation of potentially great gay men (lesbians have been hit much less hard by the disease, for obvious reasons). There was "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Finally, there was the lesbian chic of the '90s, when the film was made.
It's a lot to cover in 88 minutes. Necessarily, many things get touched on lighter than many others. Harvey Milk gets mentioned, but not much about him is told. Barney Frank tells some of his own story, but he doesn't get all that much more time than Harvey. The lesbian experience seems to be shown more often than that of gay men, but there isn't enough imbalance for me to get all that upset about it. There is definitely discussion of how hard it was for lesbians in the gay rights movement, where they were "just girls," and in the women's rights movement, where they were "dangerous to the cause." The final story of the movie is the struggle for gay marriage, which is still going ten years later.
Obviously, how much you like this movie is going to depend in part on your political stance. However, being as objective as possible, I think it's pretty good. There's a lot of archive footage employed here, and those interviewed are from a relatively wide swathe of the community. It's true that mostly, they're people you've heard of--Frank, for example, and Rita Mae Brown, not to mention narrator Melissa Etheride. However, they did have to find these people, and it's always easier to get in touch with the famous than to find regular folks with good stories to tell and the will to tell them. It's not a perfect film, but I think it's important.
When I reviewed [i]Before Stonewall[/i], I speculated on the changes between Stonewall and the making of [i]Before Stonewall[/i]. The two movies were made a few years apart, meaning there's less change from when it was made than when the first one was made. However, in either case, I don't think it's all that much. In some ways, indeed, we've gone backwards with the current passage of Proposition Eight. What has amazed me most about the things I've learned recently is that the only country in the world that guarantees equal rights for gays is South Africa. Gay marriage is legal there, too.
and for those of you who dont know what Stonewall is, it was pretty much considered to be the beginning of the gay rights movement. It happened back in the late 60's in june. that's why gay pride is always in late june....
ANYWAY, movie for those who dont want to read!