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Before Stonewall

Overview

This documentary by Greta Schiller takes a look at the sometimes oblique American acknowledgment of homosexuals in the decades before a historical flashpoint in 1969. Late that year, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village was stormed by police and its patrons arrested -- resulting in two days of rioting. Allen Ginsberg and other celebrities talk about past police tactics, witch-hunts, censorship, and historical "cleansing" operations that violated human rights and civil liberties -- such as routing ...
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Overview

This documentary by Greta Schiller takes a look at the sometimes oblique American acknowledgment of homosexuals in the decades before a historical flashpoint in 1969. Late that year, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village was stormed by police and its patrons arrested -- resulting in two days of rioting. Allen Ginsberg and other celebrities talk about past police tactics, witch-hunts, censorship, and historical "cleansing" operations that violated human rights and civil liberties -- such as routing gays and lesbians out of the State Department. A certain openness about sexual preferences started appearing in the 1920s and accelerated during World War II, eventually culminating in the organized movements of the 1960s and later demanding an end to discrimination. Older and younger generations of gays and lesbians present different viewpoints on a variety of topics, and conflicts or disagreements between gays and lesbians are outlined. The seriousness of the subject of discrimination is balanced with humor, which makes this documentary more accessible to straight audiences unfamiliar with the topic.
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Special Features

Two poems by Allen Ginsberg; Never before seen footage and interviews
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/18/2004
  • UPC: 720229911030
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: First Run Features
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 76,944

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Gittings Participant
Allen Ginsberg Participant
Technical Credits
John Scagliotti Director, Producer
Greta Schiller Director, Producer
Bill Daughton Editor
Sandi Sissel Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Narrator Rita Mae Brown Explains Where to Look [:13]
2. The Early Days of the 20th Century [1:30]
3. The Harlem Renaissance [7:26]
4. The Homosexual Underground Expands [3:57]
5. World War II [3:24]
6. The Post-War Period [13:55]
7. The McCarthy Days: Homosexuals = Communists [4:13]
8. The 50's [6:51]
9. The 60's [28:45]
10. The Stonewall Riots [11:56]
11. Credits [3:01]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Start Film
   Chapters
   Special Features
      Allen Ginsberg
      Audre Lorde
      The Black Cat/Jose Sarria
      Play All
   First Run Features
      Trailer Gallery
         The Embalmer
         Secret Things
         Venus Boyz
         The Fluffer
         The Trials of Henry Kissinger
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