Vito

Documentary USA 2011

New York City, 27th June 1969: a day that went down in history as the date of the Stonewall riots. Vito Russo, a 23-year-old film student, was among the demonstrators who opposed police for the first time, and he was destined to become a key figure in the GLBT community's fight for equal rights in the USA. An expert on cinema and untiring activist, Vito was also one of the leading exponents of important associations like ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) fighting the policies of the Reagan administration, which refused to do anything to combat the disease. Vito continued to campaign right up to his early death from AIDS in 1990. But he is mainly remembered for The Celluloid Closet, the first essay to explore the ways in which gays and lesbians were portrayed on film, which would go on to become a cult book on GLBT culture. Today it is still considered the bible on the portrayal of gays in the history of cinema and it also inspired a 1996 American documentary of the same name directed and written by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, which, like the book, has become a cult film.

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