We’re celebrating Pride Month, an event in honour of the June 1969 Stonewall riots. LGBTQ communities around the world are seeing their rights being recognised, and More Branches hopes to push the envelope locally.
Our team has compiled a list of the must-watch lesbian, gay, trans, and queer films you can watch on Netflix right now. You’ll find Netflix originals as well as theatrical releases (like Blue Is The Warmest Color and The Wound).
The Wound (2017)
South African filmmaker John Trengove’s debut film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to excellent reviews. Trengove sets his film around a Xhosa rite of passage called Ulwaluko, an adult circumcision ritual that lasts for weeks. A coming-of-age tale unlike any you’ve seen before, The Wound explores masculinity, race, and tradition with a singular and stirring vision.
I Am Jonas by Christophe Charrier (2018)
With Félix Maritaud in the title role, I Am Jonas is one of those dramatic films that will leave you speechless. In the late 1990s, 16-year-old Jonas meets a troubled teenager who will change his life forever. Now in his thirties, Jonas is a shadow of his former self and tries to confront the ghosts of his past as best he can.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017)
When the beloved, self-described “street queen” of NY’s gay ghetto was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD chalked it up as a suicide and refused to investigate. However, as shown in Academy Award (R) nominated director and journalist David France’s film, it’s a decision many questioned.
I Am Michael by Justin Kelly (2015)
In I Am Michael, James Franco plays Michael Glatze, a journalist and LGBTQ+ rights activist. He later turns to the church and becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor. A breathtaking film.
Dream Boat (2017)
Once a year the Dream Boat sets sail for a cruise only for gay men. Far from their families and political restrictions, we follow five men from five countries on the quest for their dreams. The cruise promises seven days of sunshine, love, and freedom–but on board are also their personal stories, their doubts and uncertainties.
Blue is the Warmest Colour by Abdellatif Kechiche (2013)
Blue is the Warmest Colour, awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2013, marked a significant turning point in the history of cinema. As a teenager, Adèle tries to understand the desires she feels for Emma, a young woman with blue hair who has piqued her interest. An ambiguous relationship sets in, which will turn Adèle’s life upside down.
Elisa & Marcela (2019)
This movie, from Spanish director Isabel Coixet, is about the first same-sex marriage in Spain. The harrowing true story follows Elisa Sanchez Loriga, who took on the identity of Mario Sánchez so she could marry her partner, Marcela Gracia Ibeas. This marriage, which took place on June 8, 1901, was later discovered, but the Catholic church never ended up denouncing the union. The couple did, however, spend the rest of their life running from persecution.
Paris Is Burning (1990)
If you like drag and you haven’t seen Paris Is Burning, stop everything you’re doing and watch it now. And we’re not lying: watching this movie is an emergency. This documentary follows the ballroom scene in New York City and the “house” culture that defined it. If you don’t cry at least a little during this film, get your tear ducts examined.
Strike a Pose (2016)
This Belgian-Dutch documentary follows the backup dancers who joined Madonna on her 1990 “Blonde Ambition” tour. They soon discover that they were gay icons. Twenty-five years after the tour, this is their story.
Strong Island (2017)
Yance Ford’s documentary made history when it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. It was the first time a film from an out transgender filmmaker received an Oscar nomination and only the fifth nomination for a transgender person ever. The movie recounts Ford’s experiences in the aftermath of his brother’s murder, offers an excoriating look at the killing of a young black man at the hands of a white one, in addition to the American criminal justice system that failed him and his family at every turn.