The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
2017 / USA / Documentary / 105:00
Director: David France
When the beloved, self-described “street queen” of NY’s Christopher Street was found dead in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate. Now, a quarter century later, a dynamic activist named Victoria Cruz has taken it upon herself to reexamine what happened at the end of Marsha’s Life.
Marsha arrived in the Village in the 1960s where she teamed up with fellow trans activist Sylvia Rivera. Together, the radical duo fought arrests, condemned police brutality, battled the intolerant majority within the gay community, and helped spearhead the Stonewall Riots. Despite their many challenges over the years—bias, homelessness, illness—Marsha and Sylvia ignited a powerful and lasting civil rights movement.
In this timely and essential film, Academy Award nominated director and journalist David France (How to Survive a Plague) examines Marsh’s death—and her extraordinary life.