Essay from Sukhrob Saidov (one of three)

Young Central Asian man with short brown hair, brown eyes, and a black shirt.
Sukhrob Saidov

Documentary Analysis of film ‘’Before Stonewall’’

Introduction (History of Before Stonewall)

A documentary film called “Before Stonewall” looks at the history of the LGBTQ+ community in the US before the Stonewall riots of 1969. The movie includes interviews with LGBTQ+ people who discuss their personal hardships and experiences growing up when homosexuality was stigmatized as a mental disease and outlawed in many places. The early history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and the numerous social and political developments that led to it are also covered in the movie. In addition to highlighting the injustices and persecution that the LGBTQ+ community endured prior to the Stonewall riots, the movie promotes acceptance and acknowledgement of LGBTQ+ rights. It highlights the tenacity and bravery of LGBTQ+ people who stood up for their rights and set the path for ensuing generations. Overall, the movie gives the LGBTQ+ rights movement a historical backdrop and illuminates the struggles and achievements of the community prior to Stonewall. In this article, I try to analyze the characters and actions in film, logic and emotions of filmmakers. Also, in the end, I provide my own impressions that I gave and feel from this film.

Characters and events in film

As I watched the film, I was able to find some connections to the film and to our current society. Below I will try to explain each of these points.

First and main one is individuals. By this I mean, The movie includes interviews with LGBTQ+ people who discuss their personal problems and experiences growing up in a time when homosexuality was demonized and illegal. The LGBTQ+ community is given a human face, and the prejudice and brutality they experienced are brought to light. Also, the film covers the early LGBTQ+ rights movement, including organizations like the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis. These groups played a crucial role in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and laying the groundwork for future activism.

Secondly, the Stonewall riots. By examining the social and political issues that contributed to the Stonewall riots, the movie places them in their historical perspective. The riots were important because they ushered in a new era of action for LGBTQ+ rights and marked a turning point in the movement.

Last but not least is homosexuality as a mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association defined homosexuality as a mental disease up until 1973, as the movie emphasizes. This part of society is important because it demonstrates how entrenched prejudices against LGBTQ+ people formerly were. Moreover, the movie shows the frequent police raids on gay bars and clubs, which were frequently used as a justification to detain gay people. This social phenomenon is important because it demonstrates the systematic violence and prejudice that the LGBTQ+ community experienced.

Appeals to logic, emotion and prejudice by filmmakers

The filmmakers support their case for acceptance and acknowledgement of LGBTQ+ rights with historical information and expert interviews. They emphasize the pre-Stonewall discriminatory laws and regulations as well as the activism that aided in their reform. In order to persuade viewers of the truth of their claim, the filmmakers give a logical case supported by historical data. The film also plays on viewers’ emotions by including personal accounts and interviews with LGBTQ+ people. The interviews highlight the hardships and accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community as well as the psychological effects of violence and discrimination. This emotive appeal aims to connect viewers with LGBTQ+ people’s experiences by fostering empathy and understanding in them. The movie also shows the prejudice and discrimination LGBTQ+ people experienced prior to Stonewall. The producers hope to help viewers reevaluate their own biases and prejudices towards the LGBTQ+ community by drawing attention to the systemic discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ people. The purpose of this appeal to prejudice is to encourage the audience to examine their prejudices and take steps to promote greater inclusion and acceptance.

Conclusion (my recommendations and opinion)

The significant documentary “Before Stonewall” provides background information on the American LGBTQ+ rights struggle. The movie focuses light on the social and political issues that influenced the birth of the LGBTQ+ rights movement and depicts the hardships and victories of the LGBTQ+ community prior to the Stonewall riots. A personal and emotional link to the experiences of the community throughout a period of prejudice and violence is made through the interviews with LGBTQ+ people. The movie also shows how pervasive before Stonewall were biases and prejudices against LGBTQ+ people.

In conclusion, “Before Stonewall” is a thought-provoking, educational and I highly recommend to people to watch this. Because, movie can be a great resource for anybody who are interested in LGBTQ+ history and rights. It can be especially beneficial for people who seek to have a deeper knowledge of the experiences and hardships of the LGBTQ+ community prior to the Stonewall riots. But also, I would like to mention that, the movie might not be appropriate for all viewers, though, given the delicate nature of the subject matter. Therefore, before recommending the movie, it is crucial to take the audience’s tastes and sensitivities into account.