Kate Davis & David Heilbroner on STONEWALL UPRISING

Liberation's Forge: A tense moment from STONEWALL UPRISING.

Liberation's Forge: A tense moment from STONEWALL UPRISING.

And so now we catch up on a couple of very good films that opened last week, but — because there’s only so much podcasting I can do before my ears start to bleed — had to wait a week to be covered. In the case of the film featured in this episode, STONEWALL UPRISING, the delay turns out not to be too bad: We’re still in the midst of ┬áPride Week, after all, so this documentary remains relevant.

This is from Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, whom we met earlier this year with the release of their black metal documentary WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON. There are fewer church burnings in STONEWALL, but that doesn’t mean the event depicted — a 1969, NYC riot sparked when the police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn and the patrons decided they’d had their fill of harassment — didn’t stoke its own kind of fire, specifically the birth of the gay rights movement. Davis and Heilbroner rally some great, eyewitness interviews — including the vice cop who led the raid — and manage to put the story in context with considerable footage from news shows and “educational” films showing how, even in the mid- to late-sixties, attitudes towards homosexuality had barely advanced beyond the let’s-burn-’em-at-the-stake stage. If you paired this up with another great doc released last week — 8: THE MORMON PROPOSITION, about the Mormon church’s concerted efforts to have their institutionalized homophobia turned into law — you’d get a good view of how far gay rights have come, and how far they still need to go.

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