documentary hack

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

David France

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This Netflix documentary explores the life of one of America's most beloved LGBTQ+ rights activists, Marsha P. Johnson, and the circumstances of her death.


The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

by David France


Marsha P. Johnson was an American activist, a prominent figure in the 20th-century gay liberation movement, and a self-identified drag queen. In 1992, Johnson was found dead in the Hudson River. Police reports listed suicide as the cause of death, but members of the LGBTQ+ community suspected hate crime and possible homicide.

More than two decades later, activist Victoria Cruz tried to reopen the case and find out more about the circumstances of Johnson's death. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson is a documentary about Cruz's efforts to bring justice for Marsha P. Johnson and honor her memory.

Favorite quote

What happens when a flower gets wilted? Does it just die away and it's forgotten? Hopefully, that flower will have shed some seeds that will grow a new movement.

- Kitty Rotolo and Victoria Cruz, transgender rights activists

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