It is the cinema that has, over the years, shaped the perception of a man to be debonair and a woman to be vivacious. Fortunately, the cinema has taken a step towards changing that perception by representing a man as effeminate and a woman as androgynous. While the LGBTQ+ community has been a victim to such stereotypes for years, the cinema is trying to explore the many shades of rainbow love. From the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community in the world to their closeted existence, the stories are finally seeing the light of the day. Filmmakers and actors have embarked on a journey bringing the much-needed change, but there’s still a long way to go!
With the ‘Pride Month’ being celebrated every year in the month of June by the LGBTQ+ community, more and more people are embracing the rainbow flag and accepting #LoveIsLove. But did you know why every year there’s a designated ‘Pride Month’ for the LGBTQ+ community? So, in 1969, series of spontaneous, violent confrontation had begun during the early hours of June 28 between the police and the gay rights activists outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Stonewall Riots or Stonewall Uprising had paved way for the LGBTQ+ movements and it was thirty years later that June went on to be the designated as ‘Pride Month’, inspiring the community to unapologetically stand up for themselves across the globe.
So, while we are almost halfway into the ‘Pride Month’ 2020, it’s high time to celebrate the colours of the LGBTQ+ rainbow. And what better than to pick some films that portrayed the LGBTQ+ community in an honest light. Make some popcorn, pour a drink, sit on your couch and binge-watch the films. Happy Pride, people!
1. Paris Is Burning
An American documentary that focusses on the drag queens and the director of the film, Jennie Livingston had perfectly described, “A film doesn’t change the world. A film can change consciousness. It can be educational.” The 1990 documentary involves the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities.
2. The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth, a queer teenage girl is forced into conversion therapy after she is caught in the backseat of a car kissing the prom queen. Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018, the film had won the Grand Jury Prize for US Drama, the festival’s highness honor. And that makes this film a must-watch!
A film that is set in West Hollywood focusses on the lives of two friends, from LA’s African-American and Latino transgender community. The movie represents the bittersweet journey of two fiery heroines, who are portrayed as fiercely individualistic trans women trying to survive the streets of Los Angeles. Fun fact – the entire film was shot on iPhone 5s.
The 2011 American drama film takes us on a journey of a 17-year-old African American embracing her identity as a lesbian. The coming-of-age story of the teen coming into her queer identity while clashing with her mother’s religion is a modern classic lesbian film.
5. All About My Mother
Pedro Almodóvar’s Oscar-winning love letter to the LGBT community is a sensitive work that celebrates sexuality and otherness. The Spanish drama film is about the journey of a mother after her son’s demise and it deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith, and existentialism.
6. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
An Australian comedy-drama film takes us on an adventurous journey of two drag queen and a transsexual. This 1994 cult film had paved the way for more positive representations of the LGBT community to the mainstream audience in the world of cinema.
7. Boys Don’t Cry
The 1999 American biographical film is the real-life story of Brandon Teena, an American trans man, murdered in Nebraska for being himself. Brandon was raped and beaten to deal after his friends discovered he was biologically female. Boys Don’t Cry argues for the importance of being true to oneself and it had introduced the idea of queerness and female masculinity to the mainstream audience.
8. But I’m a Cheerleader
The 1999 satirical romantic comedy is a queer classic that used stereotypes to fuel its absurd satire on conversion therapy camps. The conversion therapy centers are considered as a province of gay men and drag queens, aim to curb same-sex attraction with a cruel practice of psychoanalytical or behavioral therapy. The film is a story about a young woman, who found her sexual identity and her journey to explore the social construction of gender roles and heteronormativity.
9. Hurricane Bianca
The American comedy film is about a teacher, who is fired for being gay, only to return disguised in drag and take revenge on staff who had expelled him. The serious issue is portrayed in an entertaining and heart-warming way.
10. The Handmaiden
The Handmaiden is a 2016 South Korean erotic psychological thriller, is a refreshing take on female sexuality, domestic abuse, and the normative behaviors of women. The plot of the film is to defraud an heiress of her inheritance and then followed with twists and turns. Complications arise when romance blossoms between both women and they attempt to overcome the toxic patriarchy.
It’s time to binge-watch people! And don’t forget to share which is your favorite LGBTQ+ film and the reason why you like it.