Playdates Reviews Press Materials
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"The personal and profound stories of LGBT Americans that populate this Emmy award-winning film remain timeless, and so does its urgent reminder of the personal and political battles facing the LGBTQ community."  - MS. MAGAZINE

"Entertaining and enlightening."  - Los Angeles Times

"Funny, sad, courageous and touching."  - Seattle Times

"Intelligent and moving. Adroitly mixes old newsreel and film footage, interviews and even home movies."  - The New York Times

"You owe it to yourself to see it."  - Judith Crist, WOR-TV

"The path of the queer community has never been walked in a straight line. The seminal 1984 documentary Before Stonewall charts the history of the gay and lesbian movement in the United States from the Twenties to Stonewall in 1969, making for an invaluable primer into our own collective backstory. Restored and re-released in selected US cinemas in time for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, it is a timely reminder of the highs and lows of queer life in the twentieth century."  - Chad Armstrong, The Queer Review

"While not necessarily on the order of finding Atlantis or the original cut of Magnificent Ambersons, the task filmmakers Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg, and John Scagliotti undertook in creating Before Stonewall was still pretty daunting: to play social archaeologists, uncovering the hidden, repressed, and oftentimes denied history of gay America in the days before the famous Stonewall riots, and once and for all break the gag order polite society had placed on the third sex. Released in 1985, it helped put a halt on the notion that homosexuality was a product of societal moral decay, a tactical assertion gay rights opponents would sometimes try to insinuate based on a supposed lack of overwhelming historical evidence to the contrary. Obviously, these people weren't looking, as the groundbreaking Before Stonewall offers a kaleidoscopic array of photographs, films, and songs that offer testimony to the presence of a thriving gay subculture. What's perhaps most intriguing about watching Before Stonewall now, some 35 years after Stonewall itself, is that it ends on a moment of uplift: a documentary that can tell the sometimes bitter truth and still conclude with an unambiguously heartening flourish."  - Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine