COMING SOON: When We Rise
By Jude Samson
The history of the Stonewall Riots may have become a long-lost memory for many of the younger generation but it is receiving a much-needed revitalization by Dustin Lance Blackand an All-Star cast. The 2015 movie Stonewall was boycotted heavily due to the half-assed nature in which our history was handled, especially since it was altered significantly to make it more palatable to a straight audience. When We Rise seems to have a far more realistic take on not just the events of the 1969 riots but the span of our LGBT History in the on-going fight towards equality. Dustin is an openly gay man and therein already has a genuine pulse on the LGBT community and is also an Oscar Winner™ with his film Milk, which did a magnificent job telling the tale of Harvey Milk (stunningly portrayed by Sean Penn). He not only wrote the mini-series but will helm the director’s chair for two of the one-hour long episodes.
Hollywood Heavy Hitters in the cast include Guy Pearce as Cleve Jones, Michael Kenneth Williams as Ken Jones (African-American LGBT Organizer), Carrie Preston as Sally Miller Gearhart and Mary-Louise Parker as Roma Guy (Women’s Rights leader) who will each be in the majority of the episodes. Other big names include Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Normanand Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin, both of which will only appear in one episode each. Other guest appearances will be made by Denis O’Hare, Pauley Perrette, David Hyde Pierce, Rob Reiner, and several others. Relative newcomer Ivory Aquino will take on the role of transgender activist Cecilia Chung
While the mini-series is eight hours long it will be broken up into seven parts. It has been noted that Dustin Lance Black will direct two of the eight episodes (parts six and seven) with Gus Van Sant stepping into the director’s chair for two episodes (along with being the Executive Producer) for the first two parts. Dee Rees will take over parts two and three while Thomas Schlamme will direct parts four and five.
“This mini-series event chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today.” (ABC)
The series is set to begin sometime in February on ABC through Disney-ABC, but no premiere date has been released at this time.