Premiere of The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson

Producers Sara Ramirez, LA Teodosio, Joy Tomchin and director David France discuss their film at the Piedmont theater in Oakland, CA. June 25th, 2017. Photo by Robyn Adams

We recently attended the Frameline Premiere of The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson. As archivists we were blown away by the research the filmmakers did and the archival gems they unearthed.

They uncovered unseen footage of Marsha and Sylvia Rivera, including the full speech/rant that Sylvia gave at the 1973 NY gay freedom day when they were trying to minimize the queens. Sylvia plays a huge and heartbreaking role in the film.

The story of the re-investigation into Marsha’s death 20 years later touches on all the forces that work against these women even today, from the justice system, economic conditions, racism, class differences, transphobia, and the epidemic of murders of transwomen of color.

The documentary is set to stream on Netflix later this year and we are thrilled that such a large audience will be exposed to this transgender history. It inspires us to continue our work preserving and discovering our transgender past.