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The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

November 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

32nd Annual Milwaukee Film Festival presents….


directed by David France
US, 107min., 2017

Who killed Marsha P. Johnson?

When the beloved, self-described “street queen” of NYC’s Christopher Street was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate.

Now, twenty-five years on, David France (How to Survive a Plague) examines Marsha’s death—and her extraordinary life— in his new film.

Marsha arrived in the Village in the 1960s where she teamed up with Sylvia Rivera when both claimed their identities as “drag queens,” to use the vernacular of the times. Together, the radical duo fought arrests, condemned police brutality, organized street kids, battled the intolerant majority within the gay community, and helped spearhead the Stonewall Riots.

In 1970 they formed the world’s first trans-rights organization, STAR (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries). Despite their many challenges over the years—bias, homelessness, illness —Marsha and Sylvia ignited a powerful and lasting civil rights movement for gender nonconforming people.

Now, a quarter century later, at a time of unprecedented visibility and escalating violence in the transgender community, a dynamic activist named Victoria Cruz has taken it upon herself to reexamine what happened at the end of Marsha’s life. As the film dips in and out of a stunning collection of archival footage from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON chronicles Cruz’s efforts, pursuing leads, mobilizing officials, and working to get to the bottom of Marsha’s death. (The Film Collaborative)




Festival passes available: See all of the 2017 Festival for only $50


The 32nd Annual Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival is presented by the Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres and is made possible thanks to our generous sponsors, who include UWM Union Programming; Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Eldon E. Murray Fund; Milwaukee Pride; Joseph R. Pabst; Richard Kaul; Burbach & Stansbury S.C., Attorneys at Law; Cream City Foundation’s Sutton Place Fund & Valentine Fund; Planned Parenthood; BESTD Clinic; Northwestern Mutual; AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin; and many other generous businesses, community groups, and individuals


November 9
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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UWM Union Cinema
UWM Union Cinema | 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States
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