Must-Watch Queer/LGBT Issues Films: These days there are numerous queer films being made. In the sea of films, there are a few that stand out due to the significant events they cover and the incredible impact they have had on people’s lives. Check out the 10 must-watch Queer/LGBT issues films:
10. The Kids are Alright (2010)
At number 10 amongst the must-watch Queer/LGBT issues films is the 2010 The Kids Are Alright. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are Alright is a critic’s favourite film. It revolves around a queer family with two children and their biological father. The film was released to universal acclaim from critics and received many nominations and awards like Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture etc.
9. Philadelphia (1993)
Philadelphia is one of the few American mainstream drama films that depict HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia together. Directed by Jonathan Demme the film has Tom Hanks staring as a queer fellow suffering from AIDS who gets thrown out of his job and Denzel Washington who is his lawyer willing to advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit. The film is said to have been inspired by events that occurred in the lives of attorneys Geoffrey Bowers and Clarence B. Cain where Bowers had sued the law firm Baker & McKenzie in 1987 as discrimination against someone suffering from AIDS. Similarly Cain had sued Hyatt Legal Services for firing him after he had AIDS. The film was a big-budget, big-starrer film and it was a critical and commercial success.
8. The Normal Heart (2014)
At number 8 amongst the must-watch Queer/LGBT issues films is the 2014 The Normal Heart. The Normal Heart is an HBO television film. Directed by Ryan Murphy, the film stars big Hollywood actors like Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts etc. Based on the Larry Kramer’s 1985 play of same name, the movie depicts the rise of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the 80s. We view the event mainly through the eyes of writer and activist Ruffalo. Upon its release, the film was received strongly by both critics and audiences.
7. Mädchen in Uniform (1931)
This German film is a classic. Literally meaning Girls in Uniform, the film is based on the play Gestern und heute (Yesterday and Today). Today it has gained the status of an international cult classic. The film upon its release was considered a success throughout much of Europe. It was commercially very successful and later was released after heavy censorships of several scenes. The film depicts a young school girl’s tale, who falls for a teacher at the boarding school. Mädchen in Uniform is said to have inspired the popular film Loving Annabelle (2006).
6. Weekend (2011)
At number 6 among the must-watch Queer/LGBT issues films is the 2011 Weekend. Weekend is a British romantic drama. Directed by Andrew Haigh, the film has got an engrossing documentary feel and is often cited as a good example of the new wave of queer film making. The story revolves around a queer man’s weekend encounter with an artist that changes his life in unexpected ways. Starring Tom Cullen and Chris New, the film has been a critical and commercial success and has received a few awards.
5. Fire (1996)
Fire is part of Deepa Mehta’s Elements Trilogy (after Earth 1998 and Water 2005). Directed by Deepa Mehta, Fire is an Indian-Canadian romantic drama film loosely based on Ismat Chugtai’s story, Lihaaf. Fire is one of the few mainstream films that depict explicit homosexual relations in Indian society. Its release gave rise to a flurry of controversies and reaction. The lead roles have been played by eminent Indian actors like Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi. The film depicts a moving relation between two women from the same family who reflected their place in society and find love in each other.
4. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
At number 4 among the must-watch Queer/LGBT issues films is the 2005 Brokeback Mountain. Directed by Ang Lee, the Brokeback Mountain is one of the most phenomenal films in the history of Queer cinema. The story revolves around two men who fell in love in the 1960s and love each other secretly long after even when they start having families of their own. Staring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain was a critical and commercial success. Based on Annie Proulx’s short story of the same name, the film won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score at the 78th Academy Awards and other accolades like Golden Globe Awards, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival etc.
3. Milk (2008)
Milk is a biographical film based on the life of politician and gay right activist Harvey Milk. Milk was California’s first openly gay elected official. The film depicts his struggles as an American gay activist and politician. Written by Dustin Lance Black and directed by Gus Van Sant, the film stars Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. Penn received the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film Milk in 2009. Milk has received many other awards and accolades.
2. The Celluloid Closet (1999)
At number 2 amongst must-watch Queer/LGBT issues films is the 1999 The Celluloid Closet. The Celluloid Closet is not exactly a film but a documentary. For anyone who wants to know about the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film, The Celluloid Closet (1995) is the documentary for you. Based on Vito Russo’s book of the same name, the documentary has been directed by Jeffrey Friedman. In 1995 the film had limited release in select theatres but a year later the documentary was shown on cable channel HBO. The Celluloid Closet received four Emmy Award nominations in 1996 and recognition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival.
1. Pride (2014)
Directed by Matthew Warchus it’s a historical LGBT-related comedy-drama. The film is based on a true story where a group of young queer activists decide to help families affected by the British miners’ strike in 1984 by raising money for them. Written by Stephen Beresfor, the film stars eminent British actors like Ben Schnetzer, Paddy Considine, Joe Gilgun, Dominic West, Andrew Scott etc. The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and also received Bafta nominations for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best British Film.