Imamo li pravo osuditi nekoga samo zato jer je drugačiji od nas?
Teško bi bilo započeti ovu temu, a da se ne protegne na hiljade stranica interneta, knjiga, časopisa….
Među tim nikada dovršenim stranicama o različitosti, ljudskim pravima, i pravdi uopšte sigurno se može naći i mnogo napisanih riječi o ovom filmu.
Ovaj film nam govori o začetku borbe za prava homoseksualaca u New Yorku 1969 godine.
Matty Dean dolazi u New York iz udaljene američke provincije , tražeći svoje mjesto u kojem će ostvariti svoj snove, želje, nadanja.
Upadajući u podzemni gay bar “Stonewill Inn”, prepunom queer dama, pedera, taranseksualaca i sličnih “otpadnika” društva doživljava brutalnost policije kakvu do tada nije vidio.
Nećete vjerovati ali u to doba je važilo pravilo da je maloljetnim licima i homoseksualcima zabranjivano da budu posluženi u vućini barova i restorana.
Matty sa transeksualcem LaMirandom zaglavi prvo u zatvoru, nakon čega postaje sa njim (njom) intimni prijatelj.
Nakon što LaMiranda dobija poziva za vojsku i na regrutaciji biva odbijena kao seksualno devijantna Matty shvaća koliki je veliki jaz između ljudskih prava za “normalne” i gay populacije.
Maaty se upoznaje sa mladim i zgodnim Ethanom, gay aktivistom koji se zalaže za prilagođavanje društvu na način da ne vrijeđaju nikoga čime nije u stanju ni da zagrli ni poljubi Mattyja ukoliko bi bili na javnom mjestu ili bi ih neko mogao vidjeti.
Matty se suočava sa različitim stavovima i potrebama društva kao što je LaMiranda i neupadljivih pedera kao što je Ethan.
Kada tokom jedne racije u “Stonewall In” dođe do strahovitog nasilja, LaMiranda u društvu Drag Queena započne bitku za pravo na svoj način života.
Ova priča nam predstavlja jedno vrijeme u Americi u kojem je započela borba za gay prava.
Međutim nama balkancima nije potrenbo mnogo objašnjavati kako je to nekada bilo , a kako je sada jer to nekada u Americi je sada kod nas!
A review by Damian Cannon.
Copyright © Movie Reviews UK 1997
Marking a turning point for gay politics in the US, the rush of events which swirled around the Stonewall Inn in 1969, in New York, is vividly recounted. Arriving in the Big Apple, from hick small-town America, Matty Dean (Frederick Weller) saunters around looking for action. The bright lights and bustling crowds are all a little overwhelming, until he notices a group of outrageous drag queens and tags along for the ride. After following the queens through a blank, nondescript door, Matty finds himself transported into the wonderous parallel universe of the Stonewall Inn. Run by Skinny Vinnie (Bruce MacVittie), a standard low-life, the bar caters for gays with a taste for the extreme. This takes a hefty level of bribes to the local police precinct though, since the law forbids serving drinks to self-confessed gay customers. Unfortunately on this night a raid occurs, forcing a number of quick changes by the clientele. The cops are typically brutal, roughing up a few patrons and dragging away a young drag queen, LaMiranda (Guillermo Díaz), when she stands up to them. Matty goes the same way when he attempts to help, in double trouble because he’s under-age.
In jail Matty and LaMiranda get acquainted, later being bailed out by Bostonia (Duane Boutte), the commanding barmaid of the Stonewall and secret lover to Vinnie. Since Matty hasn’t got anywhere to go, he moves in with LaMiranda and their relationship deepens. In some ways Matty is an image of how LaMiranda was when she first came to the city; youthful, impetuous, hopeful and burning to change things. Now though she’s resigned to the restrictions of her chosen life, fun that it can be. Matty also finds himself attracted to the Mattachine Society, a group of earnest homosexuals who wish to become integrated by making themselves inoffensive. Their conservative, restrained meetings are in direct opposition to the unrestrained hedonism of the Stonewall Inn, two approaches to the same problem. Even though Matty finds himself annoyed by the society, where any sacrifice is worth making for acceptance, he finds himself drawn to a young activist, Ethan (Brendan Corbalis).
A collision between the disparate strands of Matty’s life is inevitable, given the yawning gap in attitudes between each side. The set-up for this confrontation arises when the Mattachines decide to declare their sexual preference in a number of bars and see if they’re refused service, which they should be by state law. Accompanied by a reporter, the group find that no bar has a problem with their homosexuality (several bars provide drinks on the house!). However, Matty has the bright idea to take everyone to the Stonewall Inn where they are sure to be refused service. The root of such strange behaviour is that the Stonewall is so afraid of being shut down that it’s the single place where homosexuality is hidden. Interestingly this illustrates the Mattachines as being far more prepared to take risks than the Stonewall drag queens, despite outward appearances. Matty is forced into a difficult position when LaMiranda and Ethan meet, when he denies his love affair with LaMiranda and, distraught by this rejection, she storms out.
Inside Stonewall there’s a great story, an epic tale of courage, strength and triumph when all seems lost. However, while this film seeks to attain these qualities it is powerless to resist its slide into stereotypicality. Initially the drag queens have all the bitchiness and rough-diamond qualities that might be expected, but soon they’re revealed to uniformly contain soft hearts and an inability to do anything concrete. In some ways the portrayal of the Mattachines is even worse, a society whose members are happy to let America think that homosexuality is a disease as long as they can be accepted! With more convincing acting perhaps these stock characters could have been redeemed and imbued with more interesting qualities, but this doesn’t really occur. The saving factor for Stonewall is its great spirit and some excellent scenes, particularly the time when LaMiranda visits the draft office and ends up with “Sexual Deviant” stamped on her call-up notice. Additionally, music has a special significance for the Inn; the mimed performances to pop classics are simply to die for.
Director: Nigel Finch
Writers: Rikki Beadle Blair (writer), Martin Duberman (novel)
Release Date: 3 September 1996 (USA)
Genre: Drama / Comedy
Tagline: The fight for the right to love [USA theatrical]Plot Outline: A group of homosexual people try to live with dignity and self-respect while events build to the opening battle in the major gay rights movement.
Plot Keywords: Social Activism / 1960s / Homosexuality / Civil Rights / Homosexual
Awards: 4 wins & 1 nomination
User Comments: Good depiction of an historical event. . .
(Cast overview, first billed only)
Guillermo Díaz … La Miranda
Fred Weller … Matty Dean
Brendan Corbalis … Ethan
Duane Boutte … Bostonia
Bruce MacVittie … Vinnie
Peter Ratray … Burt
Dwight Ewell … Helen Wheels
Matthew Faber … Mizz Moxie
Michael McElroy … Princess Ernestine
Luis Guzmán … Vito
Joey Dedio … Angelo
Tim Artz … Plainclothes Cop
Isaiah Washington … Uniformed Cop
Candis Cayne … Diva
David Drumgold … Diva
Runtime: 99 min
Pictures. trailer, description and links for download!