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Gay USA: Snapshots of 1970s LGBT Resistance

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Genres: LGBTQIA+
Starring: Various
Director: Arthur J. Bressan, Jr., Wakefield Poole, Lilli Vincenz, Ronald Chase, Sharon Hayes & Kate Millett
Plot Sypnosis:

Stepping out of the sixties and in the wake of the Stonewall Riots, (considered the birth of the modern LGBTQIA+ liberation movement), the 1970s would prove to be a decade energized by queer activism, political and social change and pride. Celebrating such a vitally important legacy, this collection of gay protest and parade films is an essential multifaceted document of a period of revolution and jubilation.  

Heading this essential set is the incredibly poignant and mesmerizing feature documentary Gay USA (1977) from pioneering gay filmmaker Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. (Forbidden Letters (1979), Buddies (1985)). Bressan, Jr. documents aspects of the gay rights movement during the year of 1977 capturing the intersections of diversity in queer life; from vox pop style interviews with lesbian feminists, street drag queens, and straight allies to taking a look at the fight against notorious homophobe Anita Bryant and her "Save Our Children" campaign. Conversations with dedicated gay activists and individuals who have recently come out are masterfully intercut with images of the vast spectrum of LGBT individuals and their supporters proudly marching through sun-kissed streets. As well as being politically and socially important and a perfect snapshot of a period in time of gay solidarity and resistance, it is also a picturesque sparkling film with inspired visuals from Bressan, Jr. and his team of camera operators. Along with this magnetic feature length film comes four short films capturing queer liberation and protest: Lesbian activist Lilli Vincenz's Gay and Proud (1970), which documents the first Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, held in New York City on June 28, 1970, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the lesbian-centric Gay Power (1971) from legendary artists/activists Sharon Hayes and Kate Millett and the Women's Liberation Cinema and two San Francisco focused films: Parade (1972) from artistic all-rounder Ronald Chase, which gives us an insight into the city's first official gay pride parade post-Stonewall and Freedom Day Parade (1974) by iconic filmmaker and choreographer Wakefield Poole (Boys in the Sand (1971)) which was shot at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day.  

directed by: Arthur J. Bressan, Jr., Wakefield Poole, Lilli Vincenz, Ronald Chase, Sharon Hayes & Kate Millett
starring: Various
1970-1977 / 142 min (combined) / 1.33:1 / English DTS-HD MA 2.0

Additional info:

  • Region Free Blu-ray
  • Commentary Track on ‘Gay USA’ by Jenni Olson, Queer Film Historian and Co-Director of The Bressan Project and Don Romesburg, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Sonoma State University
  • Commentary Track on ‘Freedom Day Parade’ by Jim Tushinski, Director of ‘I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole’
  • Commentary Track on 'Parade' by Director Ronald Chase
  • ‘Gay USA’ Still Photography Slideshow
  • 16-page Booklet with an Essay by Stephen A Russell, award-winning film critic, journalist and author
  • Compilation Trailer
  • Other Trailers
  • English SDH & Spanish subtitles
Release Details

Movie Release Year: 1970
Tech Specs & Release Details

Specs: 16-page Booklet with an Essay by Stephen A Russell, award-winning film critic, journalist and author
Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio(s): 1.33:1
Audio Formats: English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles/Captions: English SDH