Ma Vie En Rose (My Life In Pink): Young Ludovic is confident that ze was meant to be born a girl and that god just made a small mistake, but convincing hir family and community proves to be harder than anticipated.
Country: France, 1997
Original Language: French
Zavi thinks: Though this film is overall lighthearted, it touches on many quite serious issues, such as hate crimes and class differences. As an innocent child, Ludovic simply cannot understand why others feel so threatened by hir non-binary gender, and hir struggle to be hirself brings up the issue of gender panic. Though dealing with some very adult issues, the young star of this film remains utterly endearing.
Panda thinks: Ma Vie En Rose effectively blends fantasy and reality, much in the way that I imagine a child’s mind would. The film offers a unique first person perspective on the early struggles of child questioning hir gender. I really love the color and the lighting in this movie. It …
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Saving Face: In this romantic comedy, a young Chinese-American lesbian struggles between following her heart and fulfilling the expectations of her very traditional Chinese family.
Country: USA, 2004
Original Language: English and Mandarin Chinese
Zavi thinks: This is possibly my favorite lesbian movie ever. A lot of queer romantic films fall flat in exploring the motives and desires behind the lead character’s love, but in “Saving Face,” the clashes between both generations and different cultures are explored in considerable depth. The “squee factor” for me is quite high in this movie. From the perspective of a student, I love that the characters speak clear, understandable Mandarin (meaning I can claim that watching this movie is “language practice”). Also, from the perspective of a person from a very “traditional” family, I really enjoy that this film explores the tension between parents truly wanting the best for their children and children truly not wanting the same thing as the parents’ expectation. This movie would be great for either …
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Brokeback Mountain: Beautiful and tragic tale of two ranch hands who meet and fall in love as young men, but are forced by society to live out their days as heterosexual males, hiding their relationship from everyone around them.
Country: USA/Canada, 2005
Original Language: English
Zavi thinks: For those who think that homosexuality can be “cured” or “suppressed,” this is a cautionary tale. For these two men, the suppression of their love for one another only leads to hardship for themselves and all of their loved ones. This story is only one of the many untold queer tales about the heartache that can result from suppressing one’s true desires.
Panda thinks: This movie means a lot to me on a variety of different levels. When I was younger, living in a small town, this film was the first openly queer movie ever made available to me on a mainstream level. I remember …
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Were the World Mine: Through studying “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a gay high school student discovers the power to open the hearts and minds of his classmates and community.
Country: USA, 2008
Original Language: English
Zavi thinks: Completely destroying the notion that low budget equals low quality, this film is visually stunning. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of musicals (like me, for example), the sheer musical talent of all of performers will draw you in. Suitable for anyone who enjoys beautiful performances and very, very gay films.
Panda thinks: I first found out about this movie when I read a review of the short film that inspired it. I was very excited to see the full version, and while it was not at all what I expected, it turned out to be a real treat. The music is great and the movie is visually stunning for such an indie flick. As Zavi mentioned, this film is remarkably gay. And like most musicals it contains …
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