Arts & Entertainment
1 min

VIFF 2010: Stonewall Uprising

Credit: Courtesy of the Vancouver International Film Festival

June 28, 1969 signified the sound of a flung-high-heel-heard-’round-the-world when a group of New York drag queens, fags and dykes refused to succumb to endless bar raids and police abuse.
But how much do queers actually know about that night? And more importantly, how dulled are our emotions when hearing that oft-recited tale?
Stonewall Uprising is a riveting, shocking and inspiring must-see, guaranteed to shake awake those who consider the topic ancient history. Based on the book Stonewall: The Riots That Started the Gay Revolution, the movie features accounts from a number of individuals who fought back that night. Not only do their stories take us into the figurative middle of it (“That night the police ran from us, the lowest of the low,” one man recalls), but it also details the day-to-day discrimination against queers at that time.
The movie is filled with important history – from policemen telling public school assemblies that their life “will be a living hell” if they get caught engaging in gay acts – to surreal details about the genesis of the term “meat market.”
This isn’t simply one of those good-for-you films. This is, plainly, a captivating piece of work, reminding us where we’ve come from and why we have to keep on fighting for more.