On Friday, David France’s award-winning film, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, began streaming on Netflix. It is a stirring piece of art that explores the controversial death of Johnson, a black woman who was an icon of transgender rights in the United States. Her attitude toward the cultural conservatism of the time was captured by her self-chosen middle initial, P, which she said stood for “pay it no mind.” She is rumored to have been among the first to confront police during the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, she co-founded one of the first grassroots groups to provide do-it-yourself social services to transgender women in New York City’s West Village, and she remained a staple of the LGBT-rights movement until her body was discovered floating in the Hudson River on July 6, 1992. France’s film tells the story of those left to grapple with her death and carry on her legacy.
Allegations that surfaced over the weekend also claim the film is based on the uncredited work of a transgender woman of color. Reina Gossett is a community organizer and filmmaker based in New York City who identifies as transgender. Along with Sasha Wortzel, a filmmaker whose work focuses in part on queer and transgender identities, she has spent the past three years raising funds for a short film documenting Johnson’s life and legacy called Happy Birthday, Marsha!, which, according to the film’s website, is in post-production. Read more via Mother Jones
#deepshare #realtruth this week while I'm borrowing money to pay rent, david france is releasing his multimillion dollar netflix deal on marsha p johnson. i'm still lost in the music trying to #pay_it_no_mind and reeling on how this movie came to be and make so much $ off of our lives and ideas. david got inspired to make this film from a grant application video that @sashawortzel & I made and sent to Kalamazoo/Arcus Foundation social justice center while he was visiting. He told the people who worked there -i shit you not- that he should be the one to do this film, got a grant from Sundance/Arcus using my language and research about STAR, got Vimeo to remove my video of Sylvia's critical "y'all better quiet down" speech, ripped off decades of my archival research that i experienced so much violence to get, had his staff call Sasha up at work to get our contacts then hired my and Sasha's *ADVISOR* to our Marsha film Kimberly Reed to be his producer. And that's just the shit I have the spoons to name. TRUST🥄THERE'S🥄SO🥄MUCH 🥄MORE🥄. This kind of extraction/excavation of black life, disabled life, poor life, trans life is so old and so deeply connected to the violence Marsha had to deal with throughout her life. So I feel so much rage and grief over all of this & STAR must have some serious level plan on moving through many---and clearly by any means necessary---to get the message out... So tonight I'm channeling high priestess energy to show me the honey throne cuz this storm queen is 😖😫😱