Resistance & Resilience
Sept 13: Screaming Queens
EMMY Award-winning Screaming Queens tells the little-known story of the first known act of collective, violent resistance to the social oppression of queer people in the United States—a 1966 riot in San Francisco's impoverished Tenderloin neighborhood, three years before the famous gay riot at New York's Stonewall Inn.
Screaming Queens introduces viewers to street queens, cops and activist civil rights ministers who recall the riot and paint a vivid portrait of the wild transgender scene in 1960s San Francisco. Integrating the riot's story into the broader fabric of American life, the documentary connects the event to urban renewal, anti-war activism, civil rights and sexual liberation. With enticing archival footage and period music, this unknown story is dramatically brought back to life. Screaming Queens is a production of Victor Silverman and Susan Stryker produced in association with ITVS and KQED, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Sept 27: Before Stonewall
In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the Gay Liberation Movement had begun.
Before Stonewall pries open the closet door--setting free the dramatic story of the sometimes horrifying public and private existences experienced by gay and lesbian Americans since the 1920s. Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed film relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today's gay rights movement, from the events that led to the fevered 1969 riots to many other milestones in the brave fight for acceptance.
Experience the fascinating and unforgettable, decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America through eye-opening historical footage and amazing interviews with those who lived through an often brutal closeted history.
Oct 11: Stonewall Uprising
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and demonstrations that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
In the late 1960s, the American Psychiatric Association still classified homosexuality as a mental disorder, and gay men and lesbian women received almost universal moral condemnation from mainstream religions. The act of homosexual sex, even in private homes, was punishable by a light fine, 20 years in prison, or even a life sentence.
New York City had the largest gay population in the United States. It was also the city that most aggressively upheld anti-sodomy laws. In the mid-1960s New York created police vice squads to raid gay bars and baths, and began using decoys to solicit and entrap gays. By 1966 over 100 men a week were arrested as a result of this effort. "It was a nightmare for the lesbian or gay man who was arrested and caught up in the juggernaut but it was also a nightmare for the lesbians or gay men who lived in the closet," Yale Law School professor William Eskridge says in the film. "This produced an enormous amount of anger within the lesbian and gay community in New York City. Eventually something was bound to blow."
The Stonewall Inn was not a fancy establishment -- even its regular customers described it as a dive. Operated by the Mafia, the bar served watered-down drinks without a liquor license. Its two dark rooms had no running water -- just a tub where the drinking glasses were rinsed for reuse. The Stonewall Inn was, however, one of the only places gay people in New York City could socialize, providing a rare haven where they could drink, dance to the jukebox, and be themselves.
Previous raids of the Stonewall Inn had resolved peacefully. Typically, after police made some arrests, the bar shut down, reopening for business just a few hours later. But the raid on June 28th was different: patrons at the Stonewall resisted arrest and the police quickly lost control of the situation. A crowd gathered on the street outside the Stonewall, forcing police to barricade themselves in the bar. Riot officers wearing helmets and armed with nightsticks descended on the scene. The violent protests and demonstrations that erupted that night continued for almost a week.
In this 90-minute film, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE draws upon eyewitness accounts and rare archival material to bring this pivotal event to life. Based on David Carter's critically acclaimed book, Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution, Stonewall Uprising was produced by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner.
Oct 25: How to Survive a Plague
Faced with their own mortality an improbable group of young people, many of them HIV-positive young men, broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment.
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and '90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.
Nov 8: Saving Marriage
When Massachusetts becomes the first state to recognize gay marriage, a constitutional amendment immediately emerges that would take that right away. Now, seasoned lobbyists and rookie activists are in the battle of their lives. The holy grail of gay rights is within reach, and their fight to save marriage will change forever how people - including them -- view same-sex relationships. Civil rights history begins a new chapter in Massachusetts, and Saving Marriage is there on the scene as the drama unfolds.
- Last Updated: Jul 7, 2017 7:07 PM
- URL: http://libguides.utk.edu/OutFilms
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