Pride Month isn’t over yet and there’s still time to catch up on some LGBTQ+ films and documentaries. Check out our list to see what and where you can watch.
In this coming-of-age drama written and directed by Barry Jenkins, the audience bears witness to the life trajectory of Chiron, a young African American who explores his sexuality and identity while juggling life’s pains and struggles. The film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, is told in three snapshots from three pivotal stages of Chiron’s life: childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood.
Where to watch: Netflix (US), Amazon Prime, YouTube, BFI Player
Luca Guadagnino’s sultry adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel has flourished into a sort of cult classic after it made waves in 2017 and was nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Actor (for Timothee Chalamet) at the Academy Awards. Armie Hammer and Chalamet star as Oliver and Elio, respectively, who meet one summer in Italy and find themselves inevitably drawn to one another like magnets. It’s a story about the intense and lasting impact of first love.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube
The setting is France. The year is 1770. A painter is commissioned to paint the portrait of a betrothed aristocrat. The catch? The subject can’t know she’s being painted. Renowned French indie filmmaker Celine Sciamma, who won Best Screenplay for this film at Cannes, tells this passionate forbidden love with careful and beautifully crafted imagery while enlightening us all on the fresh perspective of the female gaze.
Come for Eddie Redmayne’s stunning performance, stay for the extraordinary story of resilience and courage exhibited by Danish painter Lili Elbe, one of the first to receive sex reassignment surgery in the early 20th century. It’s a story not just of pushing back against the norm, but of the noble pursuit of expressing one’s identity and the sense of peace that brings.
Set in rural Yorkshire, Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country tells the story of a young farmer seemingly unable to gain a sense of direction in life, until a Romanian migrant comes to work in the family farm and forges a strong and fierce connection with him, ultimately setting him on a new path.
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube, BFI Player
Tong and Mew were childhood friends with a burgeoning attraction between them until a tragedy separated them. Years later, they meet again as teenage boys, one of them a pop singer, and the embers of an old flame are rekindled. This 2007 Thai film, which garnered numerous local and regional accolades, tells the naturally unfolding tender love story between two teenage boys and the palpable connection between them.
Where to watch: Amazon
This 2015 American indie film follows the story of a transgender sex worker in Hollywood as she tracks down her boyfriend and pimp who’s been cheating on her. Sin-Dee Rella, who has just been released from a 28-day prison sentence, traverses the streets of Hollywood with her friend and fellow trans sex worker in this visually evocative film that also simultaneously spotlights these oft-untold realities. The clincher? The whole thing was shot using only iPhone 5S smartphones.
An American coming-of-age drama directed by Alice Wu, The Half of It follows the story of Ellie, an introverted student who agrees to help the school jock write a love letter to his crush. The complications arise as Ellie is also secretly in love with the same girl. It’s a modern twist to the age-old Cyrano de Bergerac tale.
Where to watch: Netflix
This 2014 historical drama sheds light on the efforts of renowned British mathematician Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and his cryptography team as they build a machine to crack the German enigma code during World War II. But there is a subplot around his identity that illuminates the more intimate character of a man who helped save lives.
Stonewall Uprising is one good way to educate oneself about some of the history of Pride. This 2010 American documentary looks at the events around the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and includes interviews with eyewitnesses and participants of the riots as well as police who were part of the raids.
Where to watch: PBS, Kanopy
This 2017 documentary tries to uncover the truth about the mysterious death in 1992 of transgender activist and iconic Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson, who was discovered floating in the Hudson River. This documentary illuminates the legacy Johnson left behind.