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Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (Newly Restored)
Director: Greta Schiller; Co-Director: Robert Rosenberg; Executive Producer: John Scagliotti

87 minutes, color, 1984

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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 LGBT community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the gay liberation movement had begun.

Newly restored for the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Before Stonewall pries open the closet door, setting free the dramatic story of survival, love, persecution and resistance experienced by LGBT Americans since the early 1900's. 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.

Narrated by iconic author Rita Mae Brown, the film includes groundbreaking interviews with Ann Bannon, Martin Duberman, Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Gittings, Harry Hay, Mabel Hampton, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, Frank Kameny, Audre Lorde, Richard Bruce Nugent, Jose Sarria and many more.

About the restoration: The original 16mm negative was scanned and digitized at Periscope Films in Los Angeles. The file was then color corrected at Edition Salzgeber in Berlin, and an HD digital file was created. Director Greta Schiller supervised the process and approved the new master.

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"Entertaining and enlightening." - Los Angeles Times

"Funny, courageous and touching."- Seattle Times

"Intelligent, moving!" - The New York Times

"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

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



Rotten Tomatoes

The Ms. Q&A: What Greta Schiller Learned Making Before Stonewall

Robert Rosenberg, Co-Director of Before Stonewall, revisits the Stonewall era in Time Magazine.

More about this film's theatrical run

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