Emory Libraries is pleased to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month in June. This month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, when a raid against the Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City, resulted in an act of mass resistance that exploded into a protest of thousands. While not the first instance of LGBTQ resistance against police harassment, the Uprising became the watershed moment in the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
During this month, the Emory Libraries Blog will highlight library resources in this area. The feature films and documentaries selected below encompass both classic and more recent titles and reflect a diverse spectrum of experiences. More blog entries are planned for LGBTQ History Month in October.
For more streaming video content, explore discoverE (the library catalog) and streaming video platforms such as Kanopy Streaming, Alexander Street Press Academic Video Online (AVON), and Film Platform. These streaming video resources are available to current Emory faculty, staff and students.
By James Steffen, Ph.D., Head of Humanities Team and Film and Media Studies Librarian
“In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city’s gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the Gay Liberation Movement had begun. After Stonewall, the sequel to Before Stonewall, chronicles the history of lesbian and gay life from the riots at Stonewall to the end of the century. It captures the hard work, struggles, tragic defeats and exciting victories experienced since them. It explores how AIDS literally changed the direction of the movement.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Dan Hunt, 1999.
“Belgian choreographer Alain Platel asked a number of older drag queens and trans cabaret artists to perform onstage one last time in his piece Gardenia, which became a global success. The film intercuts shots from Gardenia with interviews in which these performers talk about the choices they made, going against the grain of conventions in order to become themselves. The contrast between their outrageous performances and their vulnerability offers unsettling but multifaceted insight into these remarkable individuals.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Thomas Wallner, 2014.
”Tells the story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. Starting with five life stories chosen from the thousands memorialized in the Names Project AIDS quilt, the filmmakers weave intimate memories with contemporary news footage to tell a story of love, loss, anger, and healing.” (Publisher description.) Winner of the 1990 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Directed by Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 1989.
“This simmering drama is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and an award-winner at Sundance and Berlinale. Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) arrives Johnny is confronted with new emotions. An intense relationship forms between the two which could change…” (Publisher description.) Directed by Francis Lee, 2017.
“In 2006, for the first time, Jerusalem was to host, the World Pride events. This stirred turmoil in the politically complex city, with Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders banding together against what they said would ‘defile the holy city.’ On the other side stood the activists from Jerusalem’s LGBT community centre, who planned the events. Facing violent anti-gay sentiment, they faced threats to much more than their right to march.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Nitzan Gilady, 2007.
“Despite a political rivalry between their families, Kena and Ziki resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Wanuri Kahia, 2018.
“An intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates sobriety, adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Shaleece Haas, 2016.
“Tomboy tells the story of 10-year-old Laure (played by the amazing Zoe Heran) who moves to the suburbs and decides to pass as a boy amongst the pack of neighborhood kids. As “Mikael” she catches the attention of leader of the pack Lisa, who becomes smitten with her. At home with her parents and younger sister Jeanne, she is Laure; while hanging out with her new pals and girlfriend, she is Mikael. Finding resourceful ways to hide her true self, Laure takes advantage of her new identity, as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Céline Sciamma, 2011.
“In an experimental amalgam of rap music, street poetry, documentary film, and dance, a gay African-American man expresses what it is like to be gay and black in the United States. Although he deals with social ostracism and fear of AIDS, he affirms the beauty and significance of the gay black man.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Marlon T. Riggs, 1989.
“Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930’s. Cheryl is surprised to discover that Richards (known popularly as “the Watermelon Woman”) had a white lesbian lover.” (Publisher description.) The film became associated with nationwide controversy when a conservative journalist and later a House Representative questioned Cheryl Dunye’s receipt of National Endowment for the Arts funding to shoot the film. Directed by Cheryl Dunye, 1996.
“The first feature-length documentary about lesbian and gay identity made by gay filmmakers, the film had a huge impact when it was released and became an icon of the emerging gay rights movement of the 1970s. In honor of its place in our collective history, Word is Out was selected for the Legacy Project for GLBT Film Preservation by Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The original film negative was recently restored, and the re-mastered 35 mm print was shown at gala festival events at Outfest in Los Angeles and Frameline in San Francisco.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Mariposa Film Group. Produced by Peter Adair, 1978.
“For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15 year-old Alex (Ines Efron,) who was born an intersex child. As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Álvaro (Martin Piroyanski.) Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Lucía Puenzo, 2007.