A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
In 1969 New York City policemen raided the Stonewall Inn which was mob run and was operating without a liquor license. These reasons did not have a role and the establishment was actually raided to clear out the numerous homosexual patrons who were known to frequent the joint. Instead of leaving peacefully as they were accustomed to doing, the patrons held their ground and started a riot leading to a successful standoff with police and ultimately the start of the gay rights movement. As part of The American Experience documentary program on PBS, Stonewall Uprising is a very well made film (I'm starting to think the background music plays a big part is the success of documentaries, and this film has a good score). As there is virtually no footage of the riot, we are shown recreations and interviews with participants. What is fascinating and downright laughable are the stock films of educational movies, news programs, and commercial warnings relating to homosexuality in the 1960s. I did have a problem with the attitude of the interviewees in the film who condone violence in general and attacks on police specifically as the only means for change. Comments such as comparisons of gay bars to black southern churches and the righteousness of this movement, as well as the general misguidedness of many of the people interviewed was a little off putting. Still Stonewall Uprising is a well made documentation of a volatile historical event.