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  • Summary: "It was the Rosa Parks moment," says one man. June 28, 1969: NYC police raid a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refuse to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a 3-day riot that launches the Gay Rights Movement. Told by Stonewall patrons,"It was the Rosa Parks moment," says one man. June 28, 1969: NYC police raid a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refuse to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a 3-day riot that launches the Gay Rights Movement. Told by Stonewall patrons, reporters and the cop who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant. At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history. (Karen Cooper, Director, Film Forum) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    100
    The film's final words are simple and to the point, and come from the retired cop, Seymour Pine: "You knew they broke the law, but what kind of law was that?"
  2. Methodically ticks off the forms of oppression visited on gays and lesbians in the days before the gay rights movement.
  3. 88
    "This was the Rosa Parks moment,'' another participant says, "the time that gay people stood up and said, 'No.' ''
  4. Unfortunately, for the bulk of the film's running time -- its first two-thirds or so -- Davis and Heilbroner oversaturate viewers with scene-setting material, describing the climate for gay men and lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s.
  5. 75
    Davis and Heilbroner lean a bit too hard on the most outrageous forms of abuse in the pre-Stonewall era, as opposed to the everyday traumas of living in the closet, but Stonewall Uprising picks up momentum once it starts detailing the event itself, drawing on the vivid memories of the people who lived it.
  6. 70
    Some say that the revolt was initiated by black and Latino drag queens, a fact not presented here, but there are affecting moments.
  7. 50
    For a movie about a groundbreaking gay rebellion, Stonewall Uprising plays it much too straight.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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