Stonewall Uprising

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Stonewall Uprising
Stonewall uprising.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Kate Davis
  • David Heilbroner
  • Mark Samels
Written byDavid Heilbroner
Music byGary Lionelli
  • Buddy Squires
  • Kate Davis
Edited byKate Davis
Distributed byFirst Run Features
Release date
  • June 16, 2010 (2010-06-16)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States

Stonewall Uprising is a 2010 American documentary film examining the events surrounding the Stonewall riots that began during the early hours of June 28, 1969. Stonewall Uprising made its theatrical debut on June 16, 2010, at the Film Forum in New York City.[1][2][3] The film features interviews with eyewitnesses to the incident, including the New York Police Department deputy inspector Seymour Pine.[4]

The film was produced and directed by the documentary makers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, and is based on the book by the historian David Carter, Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution.[5] The title theme is by Gary Lionelli.[6]


Stonewall Uprising begins with a general overview of societal attitudes toward homosexuality in 1960s America. Archival footage from locally produced television programs, public service films warning of the "dangers" of homosexuality and "CBS Reports: The Homosexuals", and interviews with Stonewall participants and observers Virginia Apuzzo, Martin Boyce, Raymond Castro, Danny Garvin, Jerry Hoose, Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, Dick Leitsch, John O'Brien, Seymour Pine, Yvonne Ritter, Fred Sargeant, Martha Shelley, Howard Smith, Lucian Truscott, and Doric Wilson[7] present both a national perspective and a personal one. The film also touches on pre-Stonewall activism, including the Annual Reminder pickets held in Philadelphia.

The film then shifts to the days immediately preceding the riot and the specific conditions in New York City, including a raid on the Stonewall Inn that had happened days before the raid that triggered the riot, to explain why conditions were ripe for some action to happen. Archive film from the riots, dramatic re-enactments and eyewitness testimony are presented, along with animation of the streets surrounding the Stonewall Inn showing how rioters were able to evade and outflank responding police.[8]

It concludes with an examination of the aftermath of the rioting, including the energizing of the gay community as a political force and the establishment of Christopher Street Liberation Day, the genesis of gay pride parades in the United States.


David Mixner, the author, political strategist, civil rights activist and public affairs advisor, wrote on his blog,

Like the movie Milk, this film can have a major impact on the LGBT movement. We need to get people into the theaters and see this amazing historical document...

...With much surprise, I learned so much new information from this film about the evening (of Stonewall)...Another surprise to me was the broad spectrum of citizens who participated in the riots that extended far beyond the young and drag queens.[9]

American Experience[edit]

Stonewall Uprising was shown on PBS's American Experience series on April 25, 2011, as season 23's episode 10.[10]

The film was released on DVD on April 26, 2011.[11]


  1. ^ "June 28, 1969: Turning Point in Gay Rights History", New York Times. Retrieved on June 16, 2010.
  2. ^ "Queens of the Night: What really happened at the Stonewall Inn?", Village Voice film review (June 16–22, 2010, Vol. LV, No. 24). Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  3. ^ Stonewall Uprising on IMDb
  4. ^ Wilton, Lisa. "Witnesses revisit '60s gay rights riots", Calgary Sun, September 1, 2010. Accessed September 8, 2010.
  5. ^ David Carter website bio
  6. ^ Lionelli, Gary Suburbia
  7. ^ "Stonewall Uprising: The Year That Changed America - Who was at Stonewall?". American Experience. PBS. April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Stonewall Uprising: The Year That Changed America - Transcript". American Experience. PBS. April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  9. ^ Mixner, David. "Film Review: "Stonewall Uprising" Is Outstanding". David Mixner. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
  10. ^ "Stonewall Uprising: The Year That Changed America". American Experience. PBS. April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  11. ^ Retrieved 2 August 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Carter, David (2004). Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-34269-1.

External links[edit]