Stonewall follows fictional character Danny Winters (played by Jeremy Irvine) who is kicked out of his parent's house, flees to New York City, finds solace in the gay community, and quickly becomes a part of the growing gay rights movement. While the trailer seems like it's following a formula (when it comes to the way these historical movies are framed anyway), the content of the film is what makes it stand out.
While watching the trailer, it felt really easy for me to connect to Danny and the characters that surround him in the film. There were moments -- especially at the start of the trailer -- that came across as unsettling and uncomfortable (the moments that stand out for me are at the beginning when the F-word is written out on his locker and again when they depict physical violence against the characters simply because they're gay*).
You can really get a feel of what the characters go through on a daily basis and the discrimination they face because of their sexual orientation. So, it almost feels relieving once the second half of the trailer comes around.
For those that know their history, you know that the Stonewall Riot was a pivotal moment for Gay Rights. And personally, seeing this moment portrayed on screen gave me goosebumps. It's definitely an inspiring moment in Civil Rights history and even though I spent months studying the subject, there's something about seeing our characters scream and shout and feel empowered through their actions.
Stonewall puts an important moment in American history on the big screen. Movies like this are important because they can be used as tools to inspire young movie-goers. I can only imagine how a young person would feel after seeing this movie especially if they identify with the characters and even more so if they're in an environment that isn't open-minded to their way of life.
Stonewall will be in theaters on September 25th, 2015
*I considered taking screenshots of both of these moments and including them in the card. But I didn't, purposely. That word, specifically, has been thrown at me in high school hallways, on the street through the windows of cars, and unfortunately on college campuses. I've been in physical altercations because of that word and the way that people in my hometown, school, etc. view me as a human being. And while I'm not proud of my history of violence and the way I used to handle these situations, I felt like I wouldn't be true to myself or true to the card if I had included them. The movie is about empowerment and social change. It's about feeling courageous enough to stand up to the oppressors. While, yes, these actions help drive those to social change, I didn't think it was necessary to put a spotlight on that negativity.