The Walls are Coming Down! Happy Pride Month from Planet Fandor.
The world is celebrating LGBTQ visibility, rights and culture this month, so why just take to the streets for your city’s Pride Weekend? All month long (and long after the parades are over), you can indulge your craving for films by, for and about the LGBTQ community with Fandor’s massive, diverse and compelling collection of LGBTQ cinema!
LGBTQ visibility has most certainly been on the rise in popular culture and subsequently on the movie screen, and the Stonewall riots — which catalyzed the Gay Liberation movement in the United States — were immortalized in 2015’s Stonewall. Though based on the lead-up, events and aftermath of that fateful night on June 28, 1969, in which a group of patrons at gay “speakeasy” the Stonewall Inn refused to go quietly in the face of a police-ordered shutdown, Stonewall is most certainly a fictionalized account, and that fact has led to more than a little bit of controversy. This article by longtime film writer David Ehrenstein over on Keyframe is a great primer on what that film got right and what may have been missing.
One thing is for certain: Things weren’t the same after Stonewall. For a powerful and poignant perspective on how far the LGBTQ rights movement has come (and what has yet to be accomplished), we recommend two documentaries currently streaming on Fandor:
Before Stonewall is about the half-century of the American LGBTQ experience from the 1920s up until those fateful skirmishes with the NYPD. Consider the closet open! With a fascinating mix of historical footage, incredible interviews and unbelievable tales of resilience in the face of hate, fear and ignorance, at its heart this film is a story about moving from isolation into solidarity and community. Incredible stuff, and it even aired on PBS (so you know it’s legit).
After Stonewall, which was directed by Before Stonewall producer John Scagliotti, covers the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots through to the end of the last millennium. If Before Stonewall is about organizing in the face of discrimination, then After Stonewall is about galvanizing that cooperative effort. It’s stunning survey of thirty years’ worth of political and social gains, and in these times, it can be comforting to take a long view and see just how much has been accomplished.
If detailed history isn’t your cinematic jam, why not get inspired by perusing LGBTQ film historian Jenni Olson‘s Essential LGBTQ list over on Keyframe? Almost half of the films on her list are available on Fandor, and we bet you haven’t seen some of them. Go ahead. See for yourself!
We have lots more great LGBTQ movie goodness in store for the month of June, and we’ll be recommending more great titles, video essays and articles a little bit later in the month. Until then, enjoy all of your celebrations, remember why there’s so much cause to celebrate, and happy watching!