The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

USA | 2017 | 105 minutes | David France

Academy Award® nominee David France (How to Survive a Plague) uncovers never- before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews in a search for the truth behind the mysterious 1992 death of courageous black transgender activist and Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson.

"A must-see history of a true LGBT pioneer"Beth Barrett, SIFF Interim Artistic Director

Friday, June 9, 2017

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

6:30 PM Date has passed Producer L.A. Teodosio scheduled to attend

Saturday, June 10, 2017

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Egyptian

3:45 PM Date has passed Producer L.A. Teodosio scheduled to attend

Marsha P. Johnson was a legendary New York drag queen, a veteran of the Stonewall Riots, and, as a co-founder of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a prominent figure in the gay and transgender liberation movements. On July 6, 1992, her dead body was found in the Hudson River near Christopher Street. She was 46 years old. The police ruled the death a suicide and investigated no further, but those close to her and in her community suspected murder. 25 years later, crime victim advocate Victoria Cruz of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) has re-opened this investigation, only one of many cold cases on file, hoping to shed some light on Johnson's death. "They're yelling out from their graves for justice," Cruz says of the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities the AVP focuses on. "If we can't bring justice for Marsha, how can we bring justice for all these other unsolved cases?" As Cruz attempts to get to the bottom of the death by interviewing friends and family and contacting law enforcement officials who want nothing more to do with the case, Oscar®-nominated director David France (How to Survive a Plague, SIFF 2012) provides a bevy of archival videos, chronicling Marsha's life and her place as a true pioneer in the history of the modern trans movement.

Director Biography

David France has gained recognition for his work as a nonfiction author, whose books he has also developed into films. His 2012 documentary, How to Survive a Plague, was his first project as writer, director, and producer.

Sponsored by Greater Seattle Business Association

  • Director: David France
  • Principal Cast: Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Victoria Cruz
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 105 minutes
  • Producer: L.A. Teodosio, Kimberley Reed, David France
  • Screenplay: David France, Mark Blane
  • Cinematographers: Thomas Bergmann, Adam Uhl
  • Editors: Tyler Walk
  • Music: Bryce Dessner
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: How to Survive a Plague (2012)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: The Film Collaborative