How Stonewall Became Famous...

Ever since the 1969 riots on the streets outside New York City’s Stonewall Inn, L.G.B.T.Q. communities have gathered there to express their joy, their anger, their pain and their power.

Few places are so tightly identified with the birth of a movement as the Stonewall Inn and the streets that surround it, in the downtown Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village. This month marks 50 years since the Stonewall riot, which galvanized a half-century of activism and agitation for L.G.B.T. rights and made Stonewall a recurring stage for public protest, grieving and celebration.

Cheryl Furjanic’s new Op-Doc, “Stonewall: The Making of a Monument” traces that history, exploring the process by which a chaotic street fight in protest of police brutality has been engraved into history in the form of a national monument. Furjanic’s film, built from a chorus of voices and archival footage, is also a case study in how mainstream acceptance can, ironically, be a mixed blessing for political movements, as people struggle to control their own history.