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QMR: beautiful boxer

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Beautiful Boxer: Based on a true story, this film explores the life of Parinya Charoenphol (Nong Toom), a famous Thai kickboxer, who uses the money and influence gained from her winning matches to facilitate her gender transition.

Country: Thailand, 2003

Original Language: Thai and English

Rating: 4.5/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: This is such a powerful story, and it’s even more amazing because it’s true.  This is one of the best representations of a trans character that I have ever seen in a film (other representations of similar caliber include Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry and Bree in Transamerica).  I also found it incredibly refreshing that this film is both a “trans” film and an “overcoming obstacles” story, even though it is an unfortunate testament to trans exclusion in media that Nong Toom’s story of eventual success was so surprising.  Another random refreshing aspect of this film is that this is the first time I’ve ever seen a …

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QMR: after stonewall

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After Stonewall: A documentary about queer history from the Stonewall riots era through the new millennium. It features news footage and personal interviews and is a must-see for all queer youth.

Country: USA, 1999

Original Language: English

Rating: 4.5/5

Zavi thinks: Fun to watch, insightful, and available on Netflix instant watch – what more could I ask for in a documentary?  This one is definitely not just for the classroom; it’s enjoyable enough to just watch at home for the fun of it.

Panda thinks: Just watched this for the first time tonight!  For someone who considers themselves decently well versed in US queer rights history, I was blown away by the amount of new information presented to me by this documentary.  Lots of really amazing professional and amateur news footage–really gripping stuff.  It is essentially a very straightforward, condensed history of the modern US queer rights movement.  This is the sort of film that should be shown in public school history classrooms everywhere.

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QMR: fried green tomatoes

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Fried Green Tomatoes: Through visiting an elderly lady at a nursing home and listening to her stories, a middle-aged Southern women learns to take pride in her femininity and take control of her own life.

Country: USA, 1991

Original Language: English

Rating: 4.5/5

Zavi thinks: So, the one-line description of this movie makes it sound like it was meant to be a Lifetime movie for middle-aged married women.  It’s not – this movie is simply very hard to summarize (though its seemingly innocent appeal made it the first queer movie I ever watched – and with my conservative parents at that). The one-line description, though technically the plot of this movie, is not the reason to watch “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  This film makes the top ten list because of the queer love story that is framed within it – a tale of powerful love that overcomes all cultural and social obstacles. Mary Louise Parker is super hot in this film. So is her love interest. You have to …

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QMR: transamerica

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Transamerica: Weeks before her gender reassignment surgery, a tranwoman is shocked to discover that she unknowingly fathered a child.  She is forced to confront a wide variety of issues from her past while on a cross-country road trip with her new found teenage son.

Country: USA, 2005

Original Language: English

Rating: 4.5/5

Zavi thinks: This movie impressed me by exploring a much broader spectrum of queer issues than I initially expected. It delves into the gender, sexuality, and secret desires of both of the lead characters and examines how these factors have made them into the people they are today. Forget cliches – this film is direct and refreshingly honest.

Panda thinks: This movie was another really pleasant surprise for me.  It feels in many ways like an older film (in fact I had no idea it was released in 2005 prior to reading the IMDB information).  At the beginning I was wary, certain that this film would be a stereotypical blurring of the lines between transwomen, crossdressers, …

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QMR: better than chocolate

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Better Than Chocolate:  A cast of quirky, queer characters quest for love and acceptance in this exceptionally cute movie. Great for snuggle-times or a feel-good group movie night.

Country: Canada, 1999

Original Language: English

Rating 4.5/5

Zavi thinks: One stand out feature of this otherwise lesbian rom-com movie is the inclusion of a trans female character with a realistic and 3-dimensional personality (as opposed to the typical, flat token drag queen character).  Judy steps outside all stereotypes and simply leads her life.

Panda thinks: I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this film–on the surface it looks like a somewhat saccharin sweet girl meets girl romance.  In reality it is an entertaining and compelling film, full of a rich cast of characters who fall all along the spectrum of young and old, homosexual and straight (and everything in between), as well as the sexually liberated and the sexually restrained.  To be honest, the love story of the main characters in my mind serves primarily as a …

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