Netflix’s ‘The Death and Life Of Marsha P. Johnson’
By Fahnia Thomas
Do you know who Marsha P. Johnson is?
This month, Netflix launched a documentary chronicling the revolutionary role of an African American trans-activist and co-founder of the first transmovement in the 1960s.
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” courses through the untimely death and unsolved murder of the transgender trailblazer. Oscar nominated director David France hosted a private screening and Q&A session in LA.
In 1992 citizens protested for answers to Marsha P. Johnson death.
Q: The film kind of ends on a cliffhanger…where is this case now and will there be a follow up film?
David France: We should do a sequel…For Victoria (Cruz), this was a Hail Mary. She did all this work. She helped you see and understand there may indeed have been one or two people directly responsible for Marsha’s death. But that the culpability of that was much deeper and broader than that. Her indictment is an across-the-board indictment for our culture and our humanity and even the LGB community itself. That’s the message she took to heart.
She brought the case to the FBI because there was some unfinished business. The conclusion for her was, we must rededicate ourselves to these revolutionary goals Marsha sort of set out for us in 1969. Victoria dropped her case folder off to the FBI, because she had a good connection. A special agent was interested in learning more because he had done some research on Marsha. So he said, ‘okay let’s see what we can do with this.’
…Then a little thing happened around the election last year…involving the FBI and emails…it was the same office Victoria was talking to. Then there was an election and a firing…and the last time Victoria called the office she didn’t even get a voicemail. So she has decided that (Donald) Trump took the file and pulled all the plugs in the building out. It’s been months of chaos at the FBI office, so we’re not holding the agents feet to the fire yet. I know he had great intentions and hopefully the film will generate some heat from audiences and help them return to the real work.