Jeffrey Walker; 2018; Australia; 105 min; Northwest Premiere
The streetlights hum. Music wafts around those gathered like a gentle, rolling breeze. The sound of marching footsteps grows into a thunderous staccato. The faces of men, of women, of everyone in between and beyond, are expectant, poised for the important fight ahead. A bigoted police officer tells Lance Gowland (Damon Herriman), activist and lead organizer of the assembled group of protesters, that this night will end in suffering. Gowland snaps back: “You’ll get shamed out of beating us long before we stop being able to take it.” And so it begins.
Jeffrey Walker’s Riot shines a light on Australia’s gay rights movement in the 1970s, chronicling the creation of Sydney’s LGBT Mardi Gras—but more importantly, illustrating why it was needed and vividly bringing to life those passionate individuals who were unwavering in their fight for recognition and equality. The powerful camerawork and expert sound design puts you right there on Oxford Street, where, amidst the brutality of the police, brave people of all genders marched, people like Gowland, Marg McCann (Kate Box), Peter de Waal (Luke Mullins), and Robin Plaister (Jessica De Gouw). RIOT is the story of the birth of a revolution, and a celebration of a victory not yet won but—much like justice—inevitable.
Non Explicit Sexual Situations; Explicit Sexual Situations; Drug Use; Implied Violence; Graphic Violence; Depiction/Discussion of Rape; Depiction/Discussion of Suicide; Vulgar Language