The documentary film The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson starts with footage of her in a parade. While Johnson lived she fought for the rights of street queens or transvestites in NY’s gay ghetto. In 1992 her body lifeless body was found floating in the Hudson River and the NYPD ruled it a suicide. The LGBT community did protests trying to get the NYPD to investigate but to no avail.
The film examines Johnson’s life & activism starting around th time of the Stonewall Riots. In the years following them, Johnson and fellow activist Sylvia Riveria founded STAR (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries) to help those in need within their community who struggle with homelessness, illnesses, and addiction.
The documentary film goes beyond Johnson and Riveria’s story, it reveals the continued struggles in the trans persons community today. It also focuses on fellow activist Victoria Cruz as she delves back into Johnson’s death hoping to prove once and for all what really happened.
The Netflix documentary film by David France, skillfully goes back and forth between sharing Johnson’s & Riveria’s story with current trans activism going on today. And although Cruz can’t solve Johnson’s death, the film does make clear the struggle in the LGBT community, specially the last the trans persons community is far from over. The fight for greater equality rages on.
Ruminate Central” Blog Central – The Netflix Documentary: The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson