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Principal photography has begun on Roland Emmerich‘s drama Stonewall.  The film stars Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as a young runaway who finds his way to the Stonewall Inn and is eventually swept up in events that would lead to the historic 1969 Stonewall Riots, which were a turning point in gay civil rights.  Although Emmerich is known for being able to blow stuff up real good, his first historical drama, Anonymous, wasn’t bad, and Stonewall has been a passion project for the director some time.  It’s always admirable when a filmmaker breaks away from his or her comfort zone, and the story of the Stonewall Riots is definitely one worth telling. Collider

EXT. STONEWALL INN – NIGHT

We see the SURVIVORS around a makeshift campfire, NEW YORK CITY in ruins around them. Nearby is a small section of LITERAL STONE WALL scarred by BATTLE – all that remains of the once glorious STONEWALL INN.

Behind the wall is the FALLEN SPIRE of the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, dark and jutting at an angle against the moonlit sky.

JOHANNA – a WHITE ANDROGYNOUS LESBIAN WOMAN in her late 20s with straight flaxen hair and a SLEEVELESS DENIM VEST – pokes at the fire with a stick.

Sitting next to her is ALEX, a GENDER NON-SPECIFIC TWEEN OF MIXED RACIAL DESCENT. Alex has a bright, youthful face despite a thin layer of soot. Attending to a cut on Alex’s leg is LENA, a FEMME BLACK LESBIAN WOMAN.

ALEX

How many days you think it’s been?

JOHANNA

Since when?

ALEX

(hushed)

Since…since the fighting started?

As Johanna pauses to think, RITA – a WHITE BISEXUAL WOMAN with a LOCKET hanging from her neck – returns, unloading more kindling for the fire. She gently touches her locket.

RITA

Three, maybe four weeks? The Alliance came under fire about then, I th…

Across the campfire, VINCENT RAPIDE, an BLACK STONE BUTCH with BUZZED HAIR and MUSCULAR FOREARMS, interrupts.

VINCENT

Twenty-four days, seventeen hours, and thirty-two minutes since General Lindsay’s conservative army raided the Village, according to my time.

Vincent taps her watch. Rita, still touching her locket, recites a poem softly under her breath.

RITA

(whispering)

I came to see the damage that was done / and the treasures that preva…

Just then, we hear a LOUD NOISE, like rubble crumbling. JUNO – a LIBERATED POLICE HORSE – neighs and raises up. Vincent moves to calm Juno down.

VINCENT

(softly)

There, there.

LENA

(calling out)

Who’s there?!

VOICES

It’s us! It’s okay! It’s just us!

DERRICK and JAMES – two WHITE CISGENDER GAY MEN – emerge from the shadows. Derrick is tall with a SQUARE CHIN and a RUGGED BUILD. James, by contrast, is SHORT and THIN and moves in an EFFEMINATE MANNER. James carries a clump of DARK CLOTHING.

JAMES

We have news! There is another camp!

VINCENT

What do you mean, another camp?

Derrick lights a CIGARETTE and gestures to the NORTH.

DERRICK

Up along the western edge of Central Park. Hundreds more survivors. Maybe a thousand?

RITA

Where did you hear this news?

JAMES

From some defectors. They say Admiral Koch’s gone rogue – he’s supporting the alliance.

VINCENT

I’ll believe that when I see it.

JAMES

We had pretty good luck avoiding Commander Lindsay’s forces just now. Derrick thinks that maybe one of us could try to get word to the other camp, you know, that we’re here and…

JOHANNA

…wait. Did you say the western edge of Central Park?

JAMES

Yes!

Johanna stands and throws her stick into the fire.

JOHANNA

So, when you say more survivors, you mean survivors that look like you.

ALEX

(to Lena)

What does she mean, survivors that look like them?

JOHANNA

I mean a bunch of white men with ten dollar haircuts. Lotta good that’ll do me.

Johanna throws a MILITARY SURPLUS DUFFLE BAG over her shoulder and turns her back to walk away.

RITA

Where are you going?

JOHANNA

(turns)

To start a camp of my own. I don’t think my particular interests are being served here anymore.

LENA

Can I come?

JOHANNA

(firmly)

RITA

What about m…

Johanna raises her hand to stop Rita from finishing. She shakes her head and walks away. Over her shoulder, she WAVES ONCE and then gives a SECOND WAVE as she disappears into the night.

An awkward silence falls over the camp; stray gunfire and the low rumble of troops echo in the distance.

GRUFF VOICE

How do you plan to get there?

The survivors turn to face the source of the voice: SYLVIA RIVERA. She is seated on a stack of charred tires, a cigarette hangs from her mouth. She is sharpening the point of a WORN STILETTO HEEL with a POCKET KNIFE. Propped up next to her is a ROCKET LAUNCHER.

A small STRAY DOG with a dirty brownish-gray coat rests at her feet.

JAMES

What?

SYLVIA RIVERA

To the park. Central Park West is nearly five miles from here and midtown is going to be teeming with Lindsay’s men, not to mention stray militias from the liquor authority.

JAMES

Derrick has a plan!

SYLVIA RIVERA

Is that so?

JAMES

Right, Derrick?

James hands the clump of dark clothing over to Derrick, who tosses his cigarette into the fire.

DERRICK

Well, we found this while we were out.

Derrick unfolds the clothes to reveal a DARK SUIT in good condition.

DERRICK

I can use this to disguise myself. If I blend in enough, I bet I can make it to the park. Once I get there, I can rally some support and come back for the rest of you.

JAMES

Or, I could go!

Derrick looks at James incredulously.

DERRICK

No offense, kid, but you better let me take this one.

James looks down at the ground and shuffles his feet. The rest of the survivors look to Sylvia Rivera for a response.

Sylvia Rivera squints her eyes and takes a long drag off of her cigarette.

SYLVIA RIVERA

You could do that, I suppose. You got the shoulders for it. Hell, you might even make it…

Sylvia Rivera stands and slings the rocket launcher over her shoulder.

SYLVIA RIVER (CONT’D)

But I’ll tell you one thing: if you do make it, there’s only one way this story ends for the rest of us.

She moves towards Derrick and, in her TOWERING HEELS, looks him dead in the eye.

SYLVIA RIVERA (CONT’D)

We’ll be left to rot here.

Lena hugs Alex as they both begin to cry. Vincent clutches her pool cue tighter. Rita opens her locket and dozens of pictures fall out, she looks over them and weeps violently. James, nervous, looks at Derrick.

Derrick begins to put on the suit in defiance of Sylvia Rivera’s warning.

DERRICK

You don’t understand. This is the only way.

RITA

(screaming)

Didn’t you hear her!? We’re all gonna die!

DERRICK

What does she know? This is going to work. Trust me.

VINCENT

(aside)

Yeah, right.

Derrick packs up a few supplies and starts away from the camp. James grabs his arm.

JAMES

(pleading)

Please, let me come with you!

DERRICK

I’m sorry, I can’t. I have to go.

As Derrick leaves, he shouts back over his shoulder.

DERRICK (CONT’D)

It’s the only way!

Suddenly, a SMALL EXPLOSION strikes near the camp. The startled survivors sit up, their faces lit by the explosion’s flames. Alex screams and clutches Lena’s arm. Vincent grabs Juno’s reins and moves to help Rita off the ground.

The stray dog scurries to the top of a pile of rubble and barks to get the survivors’ attention.

Sylvia Rivera climbs the rubble to get a clear view. On the horizon, we see COMMANDER LINDSAY’S FORCES marching towards the camp. The front line of soldiers light up their FLAME THROWERS menacingly. Their arrival is imminent.

Sylvia Rivera loads her rocket launcher and puts it on her shoulder. Before firing, she turns to the survivors and SCREAMS at the top of her lungs…

SYLVIA RIVERA

Run, bitches!

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Anna Lauren Hoffmann is a trans woman and scholar working at the intersections of information, technology, culture, and ethics. In her spare time, she is a vehement Roland Emmerich apologist. You can find her on Twitter or at annaeveryday.com.

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