Before Stonewall

Gay rights activists protest, archive photo

Still from Before Stonewall, Robert Rosenberg & Greta Schiller, 1985

We are proud to host our second LGBT History Month screening in association with our friends at Eastbourne Rainbow and Bourne Out.

This year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we present Before Stonewall. So much more than a brilliant documentary about LGBTQ+ life in the USA before the 1969 Stonewall riots, Greta Schiller’s perception-changing film places its audience in the presence of legends in their own lifetimes.

From Queen of Lesbian Pulp Ann Bannon revealing Beebo Brinker’s secrets, to poet-activist Audre Lorde putting her finger on the essential moment the queer underground joined hands with the Civil Rights movement, the film travels from Harlem speakeasies to McCarthyism via Rosie the Riveter, showing a community and culture ready to explode by 1968.

Deploying a treasure trove of archive footage and historical songs laced with double entendres, this incredibly important documentary shows that we’ve always been here, been queer, and ready to riot.

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