Pride Month 2020: Die Beautiful, Changing Partners, Baka Bukas, And More — Filipino Movies To Watch
The cries and pleas of the LGBTQIA+ community during the remarkable Stonewall riots of 1969 continue to echo up to this day; and since then June has been marked as Pride Month across the globe. The plight of the members of this ever-growing community has been reflected through literature, theatre arts, fine arts, music, dance, television and cinema, in an attempt to continue the fight against homophobia and campaign for equal rights. The fight has already come a long way after the half-century existence of the annual Pride Month, but it is far from over. Amid the scare of the global pandemic, gay rights advocates and movements here and abroad continue their celebration of Pride Month through social and mass media. Today, we've rounded up some films for you to enjoy and discuss among your peers as to why we need to impose equal rights for all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions.
Read also: What Does Pride Month Mean To You?
1/8 Limited Partnership (2015)
This award-winning documentary by Thomas Miller tells the poignant story of Filipino-American Richard Adams and his Australian husband, Tony Sullivan, who in 1975, became one of the first same-sex couples to be legally married in the world. Limited Partnership recounts their 40-year struggle to stay together, and parallels the history of the LGBT marriage and immigration equality movement.
Available on Amazon Prime Video
Read also: 5 Local Books To Revisit This Pride Month
2/8 Rome & Juliet (2006)
Rome & Juliet follows the romantic journey of two women caught in a web of forbidden love. Juliet (a conservative pre-school teacher) is a bride-to-be who befriends and hires Rome (a liberated businesswoman) as her wedding planner. As they go through the preparations, Rome and Juliet develop a deep friendship, a soulful connection and a love that is physically consummated. But conflicts arise when Marc, the groom who is a young politician, shockingly discovers the ongoing relationship between the two women. Angered and humiliated, Marc calls-off the wedding and a huge scandal ensues, leaving Rome and Juliet in a state of emotional turmoil. Not long after, Juliet is driven away from home by her mother, gets fired from work and later becomes a victim of a road mishap that puts her in a coma. But in the end, despite all the trials and hurdles Rome and Juliet's unconventional love for each other remains strong and intense.
Available on Youtube
3/8 Changing Partners (2017)
Based on the Palanca Award-winning musical play by Vincent de Jesus, the Changing Partners film adaptation tells the love story of couple Alex and Cris during the period of their breakup. Changing Partners is a falling out love story of Alex and Cris, told in changing gender pairings, showing the ups and downs of a domestic partnership.
Available on iWant
4/8 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (2016)
This is a coming-of-age movie set in post-Pinatubo eruption Pampanga following the life of a surly teenager named Felix and his encounter with Fil-Am siblings Magnus and Maximillian. Felix's innocent reminiscences of the eruption give a glimpse to his dark psyche and thirst for acceptance and friendship.
Available on iWant
5/8 Baka Bukas (2016)
Alex is a twenty-something year old creative based in Manila. She is out to most people except her best friend, Jess, to whom she has been secretly in love with since they were kids. When Jess discovers the truth about Alex, they are forced to confront the feelings they have for each other.
Available on iWant
6/8 Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes (2018)
One of the country's biggest film studios Star Cinema has created films before that give their audiences a glimpse into the LGBTQIA+ community, but never in this scale. Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes broke through mainstream cinema norm and depicted an illicit gay relationship caught between marriages. A balance of comedy and drama, this film evokes Jun Lana's signature campy style but also renders sincerity and truthfulness to its message of acceptance, friendship, and love.
Available on iWant and iFlix
7/8 Die Beautiful (2016)
A gamechanger in the depiction of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Philippine film industry, Die Beautiful by Jun Lana is a nonlinear narrative film about a transwoman and her traumatic childhood and teenage life that shaped her dream to live a beautiful life. Caught between her responsibilities as a foster parent and the never-ending search for true love, Trisha's pursuit of happiness ironically materialises during her sudden death and outlandish funeral. Paolo Ballesteros' portrayal of the lead role earned him Best Actor awards here and abroad.
Available on Netflix
8/8 Born Beautiful (2018)
Martin del Rosario steps into the shoes of Barbs, Trisha's best friend from Die Beautiful originally portrayed by Christian Bables, and celebrates life and its gifts in this sequel film of Jun Lana's acclaimed film. In this sequel directed by Perci Intalan, Barbs is at a crossroads and has to make a pivotal decision—turn away from his abusive relationship with Greg and take a chance on his budding relationship with Trisha's ex lover Michaelangelo, or accept the responsibility of an expecting father to his and the sex worker Yumi's child. It turns out, Barbs chooses them all, thus beginning the complex drama and comedy of Born Beautiful. It premiered last 2018 as a film and also constitutes the first three episodes of its 12-part web series available on Cignal Play.
Feature-length film version available on Netflix, complete limited series available on Cignal Play