This article was originally posted in all it’s unedited glory in my Tumblr account in September 22 2015
The Reviews for Roland Emmerich’s latest movie Stonewall are finally rolling in and, unsurprisingly, it appears to be a giant piece of whitewashed, ciswashed garbage.
Now, I could mention all the problems the movie has, but since there are people far more qualified to do so I will not. I will instead talk of something that was already Present in Roland Emmerich’s other historical flick, Anonymous:
Roland Emmerich has no respect for history.
Kyle Kallgren did a wonderful job at addressing how much of a mess Anonymous is, so i will link his video HERE
I also want to mention right now that I will give BC a pass because the inaccuracies in that movie are so ludicrous and the movie does not take itself that serious that it can be overlooked. On top of that, BC is not trying to link itself to real people or events, it’s all fictionalized (it does not justify all the OTHER problems, but there you go)
But Anonymous and Stonewall? we are supposed to take this movies seriously, yet it’s director does not try to take the REAL PEOPLE’S REAL LIVES he is talking about seriously at all.
It doesn’t matter that facts do not correlate, it only matters that they fit his narrative. He tries to link Hamlet to the death of a Real Life person, even though the dates do not fit. He has a cis gay man throw the first stone of Stonewall to fit his narrative. facts be damned, his narrative is what matters. Except not, it should be the other way around. In a Historical movie, the narrative should try to work around facts, not replace them.
Or maybe he just did not fact-check the information, but it is still the same problem: he did not because he considered his narrative more important than being accurate.
And this are not unimportant changes. This are NOT, as some people want to say, “undocumented events” or “a matter of opinion”, this are facts. History is open to revision, that is true, but there is a difference between discussing the maybes of the time and trying to re-created events we don’t know much about and downright ignore evidence because we don’t particularly care for it.
To do this, to put it simple, is to spread lies. and that’s what Emmerich is doing: Spreading Lies. He may be aware of this or he may not. It changes nothing.
But even worse is that there are people who actually try to pretend like this is not a big deal. the favorite defense being “This will make people go research about Stonewall”
This is wrong.
Not everyone who goes watch a movie tries to learn everything about it. They will focus on the “This started the Gay Rights Movement” and believe it was started by a Cis Gay Man. After all, you would expect a movie that claims to tell the story of Stonewall to be accurate, right? I mean, sure, there can BE changes, but the overall true story would be intact, right?
Unless they were ALREADY inside a circle of references related to LGBTQ+ issues, chances are they are not going to go and check to see if what they saw was real.
“But this will open discussions about the topic!”
Another common defense for this kind of movies. Except not really, because the information a lot of people are going to have will be factually wrong but will be convinced that it is right. Those “discussion”? they will be this:
“Stonewall was started by a cis white gay man”
“actually, it wasn’t. it was started by..:”
“no, no, i am sure it was. i saw it in the movie”
The discussion will be about trying to correct people’s wrong assumptions about it and try to fix the damage the movie has done and, as such, whill hinder discussions. And that’s in the case for those who KNOW the truth. Among people who don’t know any better? they are going to discuss using false information they think is true.
“But at least it is a movie with a Gay Lead”
It is a movie where a fictional white cis character who takes away the spotlight from REAL TRANS & NON-BINARY PEOPLE and STEALS their roles so he can be the hero.
Let’s forget the fact that we are in need of Queer Lead movies beyond the “gay lead”. A REAL PERSON ALWAYS TAKES PRIORITY OVER A FICTIONAL CHARACTER.
When Titanic came around, there was an attempt from James Cameron to try to respect those who had died in the event. Even though the focus where two ficitonal characters, there was an attempt from the movie to maker it clear it was just one of the tragedies in the story. not THE tragedy.
One small tale.
If you think a fictional character is more important than the real people you are talking about. You do not deserve to tell a Real Life Story.
Please share the links!