Downloadable Video - 2011
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On June 27, 1969, a police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar called the Stonewall took a surprising turn when patrons decided it was time to fight back. As a riot erupted on Christopher Street, a new era in the Gay Rights Movement was born. Vito Russo, a 23-year-old film student, was among the crowd. Over the next twenty years until his death from AIDS in 1990, Vito would go on to become one of the most outspoken and inspiring activists in the LGBT community's fight for equal rights. He was a pivotal part of three well-known organizations during their formative years: GAA (Gay Activists Alliance), which staged subversive works of protest performance art to secure rights and dignity for all gay people; GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), formed to ensure that media representation of gays and lesbians was accurate; and ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power), a guerilla activist group that turned the fury over President Reagan's refusal to do anything about AIDS into a series of highly telegenic acts of civil disobedience. In the midst of his commitment to activism, Vito was also a prolific writer. His seminal book "The Celluloid Closet" explored the ways in which gays and lesbians were portrayed on film, what lessons those characters taught gay and straight audiences, and how those negative images were at the root of society's homophobia. Even before the book was published, Vito was taking "The Celluloid Closet" on the road, traveling to gay film festivals and college campuses for an entertaining and informative lecture-slash-clip show that intertwined Vito's love of show business and radical gay politics. He continued writing, lecturing, speaking out and acting up until just months before his death.
Publisher: [United States] : First Run Features : Made available through hoopla, 2011.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 81 min.)) : sd., col.


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Apr 02, 2018

Excellent documentary. Never heard of Vito but you know him well during this film. What a wonderful man, how he managed being gay, then the horrible period of the aids crisis. Nothing stopped Vito, really admired him at end of film.

Aug 18, 2016

For any Gay man growing up in the 70's and 80's.
This a documentary is about a true American Gay Hero who brought people together and change to the world.

Jul 27, 2014

A remarkable, courageous individual who fought the good fight til the end, surrounded by his family and friends.

Another fine HBO documentary.

Feb 03, 2014

A good documentary but I have a feeling that my whole generation, all our works, all our hard-won freedom, has been erased by plague, and the feeling is brought to the surface strongly by watching this video.
At the first half we're seeing Vito's succeses, especially The Celluloid Closet, which I had read a long time ago.
Then there was a long, drawn-out denoument where we were subjected to just one more battle against a hopeless plague that has carried off so many of us.
It would have been better to cut the part about AIDS in about half.


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