This June, Breaking Glass Pictures will be releasing the historically potent LGBTQ documentary Cherry Grove Stories, which entertainingly recounts times in the Fire Island destination, including its queer origins, Tennessee Williams visits, decadent parties, sexual liberation, HIV alienation and the continual swinging of indecent law enforcement… all told through first person accounts and a treasure trove of fabulous, unseen archival footage of the beloved haven.
Directed by Michael Fisher, Cherry Grove Stories held its world premiere at BFI Flare, and went on to screen at a number of film festivals including the prestigious NewFest Film Festival where it was considered one of “11 films you absolute can’t miss” (NewNowNext), and the OUTshine Film Festival.
“Fisher’s love and respect for his subject shines through in this heartfelt story of a small, but certainly legendary, section of Fire Island,” said Richard Ross, Co-President of Breaking Glass Pictures. “As with all fine documentaries, the mystique and allure of the Island have been effectively captured in this engaging look at a defining moment in time that is gone forever.”
In Cherry Grove Stories, residents recount the history of the hamlet, starting in the 1940s when gay men first began congregating in a place that offered a rare refuge from the pervasive homophobia of the time.
They tell many funny, even outrageous tales: the first drag parties, when attendees had to hide their dresses and heels under the floorboards of their hosts’ house for fear of being arrested for wearing women’s clothes; escapades in the infamous Meat Rack, and how some escaped police raids by hiding in the bay; and the first drag flotilla on the Fourth of July in 1976, when drag queens “invaded” the nearby Pines.
Fisher believes the current anti-LGBT climate makes Cherry Grove Stories more important than ever. “Men were still being arrested in the Meat Rack in the 1970s, which is not that long ago, and there has been heightened harassment there today,” he points out.
Watch the trailer for Cherry Grove Stories below and click here to pre-order your copy. It’s coming to DVD and VOD on June 4th.