Can a big-budget Hollywood movie convincingly and appropriately tell the struggle for gay rights? Come September, we'll find out.
Stonewall, a movie from director Roland Emmerich, tells the story of the eponymous riots in New York in 1969. It focuses the narrative on a fictional character named Danny, who moves to New York after being kicked out of his home and finds a family within the gay community.
The story of the Stonewall riots is increasingly being told to wider and wider audiences. Thanks in no small part to President Barack Obama name-checking the riots in the same sentence as Seneca Falls and Selma, the event is taking its place in U.S.
For this movie to come out in the year of marriage equality in the United States is uncanny timing. Hopefully, Emmerich tells the tale in a way that balances education with entertainment in a way that doesn't feel pandering.
He's going to be walking a thin line, though. The actual Stonewall riots were filled with women, people of color and more. The star of Stonewall is a white, English, conventionally attractive actor named Jeremy Irvine.
Emmerich could turn out a compelling movie, and Irvine's performance could be flawless, and both would still draw massive criticisms for excluding minority narratives. Even if there are some side characters of color, or some female actors not yet seen, inevitably the criticisms will come. The trailer alone is fresh out of the editing bay and it's already earning detractors.
We'll reserve judgment until we see the full product, but from what we can tell, this movie will soon be a lightning rod for controversy — both before and after its release.
Stonewall hits theaters Sept. 25. Watch the full trailer below.