Monday, 22 May 2017

Films to Watch During the LGBT+ Pride Month

June is approaching, marking not only the beginning of Summer but also the LGBT+ Pride Month. Countries worldwide have different kinds of events to celebrate and bring the community closer but also (and more importantly) to discuss important issues, educate, and raise awareness. Being a cinephile, I like to accommodate special occasions like this with the appropriate films. If you are like me, here is a short list with recommendations for LGBT-related films that I enjoyed and maybe you will too. The list has no particular order.

1. The Way He Looks (2014)

Lacuna Filmes

Country: Brazil
Language: Portuguese
Original title: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho

The story of a blind teenager, Leo, as he gets to meet and befriend the new boy in town, his classmate Gabriel. A beautiful and heart-warming story about love, family, friendship, and dreams unfolds, as Leo seeks independence from his over-protective parents, explores his blooming feelings for Gabriel, and enters numerous conflicts with his best friend, Giovanna. This film is honestly in my all-time favourites and it's probably the film I've watched the most times. It's my feel-better film and never fails to brighten up a sad day or recharge me after a long day. I always present this to friends as a "must-watch", so make sure you don't miss it! The story is based on a 2010 short film with the same talented cast.

2. Laurence Anyways (2012)

Lyla Films

Country: Canada
Language: French

A film by one of my favourite directors: Xavier Dolan. Although this is not my favourite film of his, Laurence Anyways includes some pretty impressive and unforgettable moments. Laurence, a university teacher, decides to come out as a trans woman. This turns her life upside down. Her lover, friends, parents, colleagues, they all take different stances towards her making her transition turbulent. Through the film, we follow her through the span of several years, watching her (and everyone around her) evolve.

3. Out in the Dark (2012)

M7200 Productions

Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew / Arabic

The drama follows a Palestinian student who falls in love with an Israeli lawyer after the former crosses the borders to visit a friend at a bar. However, the political conflict and radical views of the people around them threaten their love and safety. This tragic story is also a poignant reminder that, despite the recent progress and growing acceptance in many countries, many people still struggle and are unable to be themselves due to the negative views of their society, facing terrible risks and threats far worse than rejection.

4. But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)

Country: USA
Language: English

I couldn't leave the list devoid of comedies, so I decided to add this classic film with stars like Orange is the New Black's Natasha Lyonne and RuPaul. A teenager is sent to "sexual redirection" rehab camp after she and her family discover she's gay. Although this is a serious (and somehow still prevalent?) topic, the film itself satirises the idea of conversion therapy and camps. An oldie compared to other films in the list but still worth watching as it manages to turn the inane ideas of stereotypical gender roles and sexuality redirection into a comedy.

5. Moonlight (2016)


Country: USA
Language: English

Split into three parts, each one presenting a different point in his life, this film narrates the life of a young black man, Chiron, in his journey to adulthood while finding supportive friends and hateful foes alike. This masterpiece left a lot of positive impressions the last year. It manages to address serious topics such as bullying, self-esteem, toxic masculinity, and family figures while keeping it real and pure - no fancy plot twists, no clichéd tropes or action-packed scenes to keep you at your toes, but still enjoyable and beautifully narrated.

6. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)

Quat'sous Films

Country: France
Language: French
Original Title: La Vie d'Adèle

A coming-of-age film about life, self-exploration and self-discovery. When Adèle, still a student, meets Emma, a mysterious young woman with blue hair, her life changes, her feelings and desires complicate her so-far plain life. Friendships and relationships are tested as Adèle grows into adulthood. Through several years and stages of her life, we see her evolve into a woman as she realises truths and makes important life decisions. This emotional film got many reviews praising it, honours, and awards, and in general a very positive reputation. In my opinion it deserves it as it manages to tell a very interesting story about sexual awakening, desire, and so many more real-life topics, through beautiful shots and scenes, with vivid colours and great directing.

I could keep adding more titles and expanding this list on and on, but I'm going to leave it as it is now. I hope you join me and watch at least some of these films together. If you do, don't forget to leave a comment with your impressions, or if you have already watched some of these go ahead and do the same! Even better, you could comment with your own favourite LGBT-related films for us to watch. If you are interested in discovering new films, I would recommend searching information on your local Pride Festival, if available, as they usually have special screenings with similar films. For the time being, I hope Summer finds you happy and strong. See you on my next post (which hopefully won't take as much as this post did to come - guilty!)

P.S. I've been polishing my blog's design over the time the past few months, and knowing myself it's probably going to keep being updated in the near and far future. Some changes include the popular posts banner at the home page, the title, the navigation bar, and the accent colour. Do you like the direction I'm taking it? Your feedback is valuable. Thanks.