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The Question Corner > Stonewall - the movie - whitewashing of LGBTQ history, or a positive step?

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message 1: by Kaje (last edited Aug 07, 2015 10:09AM) (new)

Kaje Harper | 16732 comments Richele asked elsewhere on the group:

"I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this question, so if it needs to be moved, let me know.

Anyway, has anyone seen the trailer for Stonewall? (Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNXkJ......)

Is this movie being viewed as a good thing or bad thing? I'm not super familiar with the Stonewall Riots. I have a very basic understanding of them. But based on comments I'm seeing about the movie, people don't seem to be thrilled.

I guess I'm just curious about everyone's thoughts regarding this specific movie?

I replied: I haven't seen the trailer, but I've read the mixed comments - there is real concern that the movie white-washes the participants at Stonewall and changes its history. Many of the most active participants at Stonewall were trans or flamboyant or drag queens, including many LGBT folk of color - the most marginalized of the community coming together out of anger and frustration, leading the way. There is concern that the key roles may be given to white gay men because that's more sympathetic and palatable for the general population, who are willing to have gay heroes (like Brokeback) but don't want their boundaries pushed.

I think as long as we're just commenting on a trailer, it may be like judging a book by the blurb. We'll see how it actually pans out, and I'm waiting for reviews. On the plus side, a movie celebrating a watershed time in gay rights deserves some applause. But it may come at an unacceptable cost...

So what are your thoughts? Are we judging too early? Is it more important to at least honor the movement, accuracy or no? How much warping can history take and still be good to see on the screen?

Here's a discussion as well - "What to Do About That New Stonewall Movie" - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-p...

This includes the suggestion we donate to organizations in support of trans women of color, in honor of their role at Stonewall, neglected as it may be in this public face of the movement in popular culture.

(Suggested organizations with links in that article)

Thoughts, everyone?

message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Eliason (RachelEliason) | 121 comments The films creator has pretty much responded by saying "wait until you see it." He claims that the drag queens, transgender people and people of color are there in the movie, they just didn't figure into the trailer as much.

I am not sure that's enough for me. In the trailer we see the cis white boy from the midwest throwing the first stone. My interpretation is that while the drag queens and people of color might be there in the movie, they'll be "saved" by the white boy instead of a source of inspiration and courage. sigh.

WhatAStrangeDuck | 1 comments Okay, so I do judge books by their covers because there is a code in there somewhere, at least concerning genre fiction. But I think it is kind of rash to judge a movie by the trailer, at least to the extent to call for a boycott.

I watched the trailer and to me the two minutes worth of it seem more or less like a re-make of the IMHO absolutely brilliant movie "Stonewall" from 1995 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMN_Y...). I might be wrong though, and I definitely don't think the movie needs a remake because it was just fine as it was and in all likelihood, better than the new one.

Still, I don't think that calling for a boycott based on heavily edited two minutes of a movie is fair. I'm not saying the movie will be perfect and I am certainly not a judge on the historical value of it. But. I can't help but appreciate the fact that somebody with as much clout in Hollywood movies as Roland Emmerich makes a movie about Stonewall. There are bound to be a lot of people who will watch this movie just because "it's the next Roland Emmerich. Yay!"

I remember how conflicted I was about "Philadelphia" when I watched it in the nineties and I just about puked when the Antonio Banderas character kissed the Tom Hanks character on the forehead to say good-bye in the death scene but fact is - millions of people watched that movie because of Tom Hanks and thus made many people think. And millions of people will watch the new Stonewall movie because because, hey, Roland Emmerich, isn't that the guy who made "Independence Day" (1,2,3, 15?).

Again, I haven't seen the movie, and I'm not sure that the director (from a purely technical point of view) will be able to do this, but - and I hate to say this - there is always the matter of any kind of queer people being visible is a good thing.

Gah, I'm pretty sure there is some badly mangled gramma in this post but me, very tired, no-not-native-speaker, peace out.


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Eliason (RachelEliason) | 121 comments As far as boycotting goes, I don't see very many movies in the theater anyway, and even when I do, I live in the midwest and we are very much second tier. So...It will be out and others will get to see it and critique it. If bloggers/film critics I trust say "boycott" once it's out, I'll wait until I can see it on Netflix or where ever. If not, I might go have a look. I guess that's my halfway boycott. ;-)

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) I only get to see one movie a year on my anniversary. Even if this movie was still in theaters then she would never agree to go see it because of the subject matter. Alas, I will have to wait until it can be seen on Netflix or video before I can see it.

message 6: by Kaje (new)

Kaje Harper | 16732 comments Jeffrey wrote: "I only get to see one movie a year on my anniversary. Even if this movie was still in theaters then she would never agree to go see it because of the subject matter. Alas, I will have to wait until..."

I hope you have a chance to see it - I imagine it will move to Neflix. I'm sorry she is still so narrow in her views after all this time.

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