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Year: 1995
Country: USA
Director: Nigel Finch
Starring: Guillermo Diaz, Fred Weller, Brendan Corbalis, Duane Boutte and Bruce MacVittie.
Synopsis: A fictionalized account of the events that lead to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, the key event that sparked the gay civil rights movement that continues until today.
Quick review: This film is based on Martin Duberman's book, not David Carter's, which had details about the riots that are missing in this film. The riot itself is almost an afterthought in this film. But the movie does demonstrate what it was like to be gay before Stonewall. Matty is a brash country boy who arrives in the big city looking for love. He's a new generation gay man, one that will not be content with hiding in the closet. He meets a drag performer named La Miranda. It's not necessarily love at first sight, but the two take the first steps toward a relationship. There's a scene where Matty helps La Miranda avoid going to Vietnam and another where we learn how new drag queens earn their new names. All this sideshow leads to the night of June 27, 1969 when New York police raid the Stonewall bar. I, as a history major, wanted more particulars about that pivotal event in the history of gay civil rights. Instead, it's treated like an afterthought. Someone needs to do a first-rate documentary of that event. So see this film if the plot sounds like it might appeal to you, but skip it if you're actually trying to learn something about the Stonewall riots.


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