Director Nigel Finch, best known for his work as editor and executive producer on BBC Two’s first-rate documentary series Arena, was HIV positive when he directed this 1995 fictionalized account of the early days of gay liberation in New York City, but he lived long enough to see the movie through the final cut. Loosely adapted by Rikki Beadle Blair from Martin Duberman’s nonfiction book of the same title, it centers on a gay activist (Frederick Weller in a nice performance) who comes to New York from the south and gets involved with a Puerto Rican drag queen (Guillermo Diaz) as well as various gay-rights initiatives; their story and others eventually culminate in the historic drag-queen riot provoked by the police raid on Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn on the day of Judy Garland’s funeral in 1969. Hokey in spots but sincere as well as informative, this movie features some swell voguing as well as good supporting performances by Brendan Corbalis, Duane Boutte, and Bruce MacVittie. 99 min. (JR)

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