Originally published on Set The Tape
The LGBT+ community has been one that has often been underrepresented in cinema, and a great deal of the depictions that are available are often offensive, insensitive, and inaccurate. Here’s a list of films about the LGBT+ community that are worth taking the time to watch….
Boy Meets Girl (2014)
Boy Meets Girl follows Ricky, a young transgender woman living in a small American town who wants to become a fashion designer. The film follows Ricky as she develops a relationship with another woman called Francesca, exploring how she’s treated by others and her experiences in love.
Boy Meets Girl not only takes the time to look at love, relationships, and how they develop and change, but how transgender women are treated in the world. The film shines a light on some of the harsh reality of transphobia and hate that face trans people. One of the highlights of the film, however, is the casting of real life trans woman Michelle Hendley in the role of Ricky, a role which would have historically been played by a cis actor.
Ron Nyswaner’s 1993 drama Philadelphia sees Tom Hanks play the role of Andrew Beckett, a member of a law firm who is fired for being a gay man with AIDS. The film follows Beckett as he takes his former employers to court for wrongful dismissal.
Philadelphia was released when the fear of AIDS was hugely prevalent, a time when people would refuse to even be near a gay person for fear of the disease. The film was written for a mainstream audience, and managed to challenge many views on the subject. An inspiring but heartbreaking story, Hanks was well deserving of his Oscar for his performance.
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Boys Don’t Cry tells the tragic true story of Brandon Teena, a trans man who was brutally murdered. The film follows Brandon and his relationship with his girlfriend before his murder.
Despite casting a cisgender actress in the lead role, Boys Don’t Cry tells an important story, one that doesn’t hide away from the terrible events that happened to Brandon. With transgender rights very much in the public eye at the moment, and the murder of trans people on the rise Boys Don’t Cry can still act as a stark eye opening experience.
Bound follows Violet and her girlfriend Corky as they attempt to steal $2 million from Violet’s mafioso ex-boyfriend. Bound was praised for its humour and its depiction of a lesbian relationship when the film was first released, though some members of the LGBT+ community did complain that a film about female lovers was directed by two men.
The Wachowski’s (the film’s directors) have since both come out as trans women and the film has again found itself at the centre of discussions about sexuality and gender politics as initial opinions have been reassessed.
Tangerine follows transgender sex worker Sin-Dee and her friend Alexandra tearing through L.A. on Christmas Eve as she searches for her boyfriend/pimp, who has been cheating on her with another woman.
Tangerine tells a story of friendship between two trans women, actually played by two trans women, in a story that is at times laugh out loud funny, and at others tender and heartfelt. Shot entirely on iPhone 5S, the film has a look and a feel that makes it stand out from others.
Pride tells the true life story of the struggle of the miners during 1984’s miners strike, and a group that raised money in their support, the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.
Pride follows the group as they travel to a small Welsh mining town, the only one that would accept their donation, as they deliver the money. What follows is a funny and heartwarming story of the two groups coming together to support each other in a time when both were hated.
Moonlight, based upon the autobiographical play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ by Barry Jenkins, follows Chiron during three stages of his life, exploring his sexuality and identity as he grows up in difficult circumstances.
Taking the time to explore the lives of young gay black people, Moonlight received massive praise for its sensitivity and storytelling, going on to win Best Oscar that year. Beautifully shot and well written, Moonlight explores an important story.
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