Film on Transgender Violence to Be Screened In New Bedford

Marsha with flower crown full of bright flowers
Marsha P. Johnson

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News Release Date: November 7, 2017

Contact: Emily G. Prigot, 508-996-4095 x 6105

A new documentary film from Academy-Award nominated documentary filmmaker David France, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, will be screened at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s visitor center on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 6:00 PM. The national park will be offering the film in partnership with New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (NBAM) and The South Coast LGBTQ Network. The event takes place at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, 33 William Street, downtown New Bedford. It is free, open to the public, and will start promptly at 6:00 PM.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson  is a deeply compelling look at the 1992 murder of Marsha P. Johnson, who was a transgender rights pioneer known as “the Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement,” It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017.

After the screening, there will be time for viewers to ask questions of the film’s producer, L.A. Teodosio, who will be in attendance. Teodosio is an award-winning independent film producer who has worked on films such as “Love Is Strange,” directed by Ira Sachs which stars John Lithgow and Marisa Tomei, as well as Sachs’ film “Little Men,” starring Greg Kinnear. Lee Blake, of the New Bedford Historical Society, will speak on cultural appropriation and the concerns of whose voices are heard when history is interpreted. She will also address some of the controversy that has arisen as a result of Reina Gossett’s claims about the film’s portrayal of transgender issues.

In addition to this event, in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, admission to the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! will be free from Friday November 17th through Sunday, November 19th. “That weekend is the community’s last chance to check out Beyond the Box, a photo exhibition by LBGTQ artist Jeep Wheat,” says Jamie Uretsky, NBAM’s curator.  “People need to see Jeep’s show. It’s modest in scale, but the work puts LBGTQ bodies front and center. These sort of images, even in 2017, are often left out of museum exhibitions. As a curator, I see this kind of underrepresentation as a sort of erasure and NBAM doesn’t want to be a part of a system of oppression that erases particular groups of people by omission.”

Public Square Films, the production company behind the Academy-Award nominated documentary How to Survive a Plague, has selected 150 organizations around the country to host free screenings of The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson in connection with Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance on November 20 to honor the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks, the South Coast LGBTQ Network and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park were among the organizations selected.

“There are amazing organizations around this country being led by and working on behalf of transgender people,” said David France. They are working to save lives, secure rights, seek justice, and provide opportunities – and they are doing this work with limited resources. Through these community screenings, we want to help draw attention to and garner support for their efforts.”

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitor Center is located at 33 William Street, New Bedford, MA 02740; currently open 7 days a week, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.  For more information visit online at or call 508-996-4095.

New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 PM; Thursdays 12:00 - 9:00 PM. For more information visit online at or call 508-961-3072.

The South Coast LGBTQ Network is a collaboration of LGBTQ groups and allied organizations in the South Coast community of Massachusetts. For more information visit online at or call 774-371-0711.

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Last updated: November 7, 2017

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