Film Image
History Doesn’t Have to Repeat Itself
2014
Color
85 minutes
France/US
English
French
History Doesn’t Have to Repeat Itself
Forty-three years after the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, filmmaker Stéphane Gérard travels to New York City in an attempt to find the activist community that was born out of this historical moment and to document how the LGBT movement continues today.

In conversation with Queer activists, organizers and archivists, Gérard touches upon the politics of sexual minorities and the fight against the AIDS epidemic, while documenting multiple community projects, perspectives, and ideals. Although there is much diversity among LGBT activists and groups, such as efforts to archive the movement's history and the creation of safe spaces, all activists share the same desire for justice, the same urgency to learn lessons from the past, and the same longing for utopia.

Winner of the Grand Prix Documentaires at the Paris Chéries-Chéris festival, HISTORY DOESN'T HAVE TO REPEAT ITSELF is an experimental documentary and it includes interviews with Perry Brass, Deborah Edel, Jim Hubbard, Sarah Schulman and others about The ACT UP Oral History Project, The Audre Lorde Project, BAAD!, Come Out!, MIX NYC, The Lesbian Herstory Archives and Queerocracy.
Reviews
"Mingling and superimposition, confrontation of the viewpoints —Gay, Black, Lesbian, minority in two, three ways— and power of the archival films give echo to those voices far beyond their respective communities." - FIDMarseille
"Rather than piece together a standard documentary (No Talking Heads!), Gérard sets audio against manipulated video of Queer bodies and forms coming together in community. As they march down city streets, apply makeup to each other's faces, and curl up in huge groups, the visuals convey a sense of promise, even as some of the interviews show how much work we have yet to accomplish." - MIX NYC 26 Catalogue
"What does history sound like? Look like? Feel like? The genre of the educational documentary is queered in Stéphane Gérard's HISTORY DOESN'T HAVE TO REPEAT ITSELF in which Sylvia Rivera's battle cry in the Stonewall era is used to crack open what we think we know about how we got to this moment of queerness and assimilationist politics, making space for new agendas to emerge. Between 2012 and 2013, filmmaker Stéphane Gérard recorded conversations with prominent Queer New York artists and public figures: Perry Brass (Gay Liberation Front), Deborah Edel (Lesbian Herstory Archives), Cara Page, Chelsea Johnson Long and Elliot Fukui (Audre Lorde Project), Arthur Aviles and Charles Rice-Gonzalez (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance [BAAD!]), Camilo Godoy, Megan Mulholland, Michael Tikili and Reginald Brown (Queerocracy), Sarah Schulman and Jim Hubbard (MIX NYC). The film's remix of oral history, archival footage, and manipulated video finds generations of activists hugging, marching, looking beautiful, pontificating and working/twerking for a better tomorrow." - On Location 2015 Catalogue
Awards

• Grand Prix Documentaires, Chéries Chéris
Screenings
• FIDMarseille
• MIX NYC 27
• Festival du Film Lesbien, Gay, Bi, Trans & ++++ de Paris
• French Directors Night, Studio Twins, Berlin
• Massimadi, Festival International des Films LGBT Afro-Caribéens, Montreal
• Videoburo, Paris
• École Normale Supérieure, Paris
• Radical Queer Semaine, Montréal
• La Clef, Paris
• Festival Cinémarges, Bordeaux
• Liberating Legacies – Queer Rebels, San Francisco
• Festival In & Out, Nice
• Festival cInéTaPPaGe, Rennes
• Cinéma Le Cratère, Toulouse
• Variétés, Marseille
• Festival Loud&Proud – Gaîté Lyrique, Paris
• On Location – Dirty Looks, New York
• Fotografisk Center Copenhagen
Pricing & Ordering
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