Directed by Greta Schiller; Co-Directed by Robert Rosenberg • Documentary • With Rita Mae Brown, Ann Bannon, Martin Duberman, Allen Ginsberg, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, Audre Lorde, Harry Hay • 1984 • 87 minutes
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 LGBT community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the gay liberation movement had begun.
Newly restored for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Before Stonewall pries open the closet door, setting free the dramatic story of survival, love, persecution and resistance experienced by LGBT Americans since the early 1900's. Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed documentary relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today's gay rights movement, from the events that led to the fevered 1969 riots to many other milestones in the brave fight for acceptance. Experience the fascinating and unforgettable, decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America through eye-opening historical footage and amazing interviews with those who lived through an often brutal closeted history.
Narrated by iconic author Rita Mae Brown, the film includes groundbreaking interviews with Ann Bannon, Martin Duberman, Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Gittings, Harry Hay, Mabel Hampton, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, Frank Kameny, Audre Lorde, Richard Bruce Nugent, Jose Sarria and many more.