After Moonlight bagged a whole lot of awards in 2016, including the Oscar for Best Picture, and Call Me By Your Name shone as brightly with its crisp yet heartbreaking story in 2017 – slowly and steadily the matter of LGBT representation is being taken up by more and more movie makers.
Although the Indian movies are yet to get there in terms of content, many movies of Hollywood and other European and African countries are taking up the issue to tell the stories of the LGBT community at a global stage. And this is certainly a very important step towards mass awareness, because representation matters a lot.
Here are 5 mind-blowing and sometimes heartbreaking movies on LGBT culture that must be on you watch-list.
1. A Fantastic Woman
Source: The Advocate
A Fantastic Woman is a brilliantly sad and poignant, yet spirited and energetic Spanish movie about a transgender woman Marina, who is shut out and humiliated by the family of the man she loved and recently lost. Though the story revolves around Marina’s grieving – both her partner and her own tragedies till she finally gets her due, the movies is also largely significant in a socio-political way given the current scenario.
The movie has transgender star Daniela Vega as Marina, and with the 2017 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in its bag, A Fantastic Woman has created history with its courage of storytelling and casting.
Yet another very significant mention from the socio-political angle, Rafiki is the story of two young girls Kena and Zika, daughters of two political opponents, set against a very conservative background of Nairobi, Kenya. Rafiki is about how their innocent friendship of childhood evolves into a tender and loving relationship of adolescence and beyond, but it is also about how much homophobia is still present in the world and how much it likes to intervene with humanity.
The movie drops the issue of homosexuality against an African country like Kenya, where it is still not completely legal and acceptable, and it is a refreshing change from the ‘white and urbane’ representation we usually get to see. The movie received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
3. Love, Simon
Source: The Advocate
Love, Simon took the world by storm as one of the very few movies by a major Hollywood Studio (20th Century Fox, in this case) to represent the LGBT community. What struck the right chords with the audience is the refreshing normalcy of teenage sweetness and fluff with which the movie treated its main character Simon, a closeted gay high school student. Years from now, Love, Simon could be the trailblazer for LGBT representation in mainstream romantic-comedy.
4. Vita and Virginia
Source: Blinder Films (via Variety)
The story revolves around the revolutionary literary icon, ahead of her time feminist, Virginia Woolf and her much controversial love interest, Vita Sackville-West. Woolf did not refrain from sharing her feelings in her work, especially in the book Orlando. Maybe it is time we finally get the beautiful writer-muse relationship on the silver screen, depicted for everyone to see and understand the nuances of it.
The movie is still under production, and is expected to release sometime in late 2018. For viewers who love biographical watches, as well as for those who love literature, Vita and Virginia will surely take up a special place.
5. Boy Erased
Source: Getty Images
Based on a real-life memoir of Garrard Conley, Boy Erased is about his 19 year old self, when he was forced to go into a gay conversion by his conservative Baptist preacher father. The film is yet to release, but the book is an international bestseller. So we can assume that would probably uphold in the same manner, albeit controversially, that exactly how much religion and its keepers had an impact, and that too a negative one on the members of the LGBT community and continue to be so.
The story marvels with its slow-seeping helplessness, while the movie has a strong cast to back it with upcoming new actor Lucas Hedges as Garrard and veterans Russel Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents.