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Arts Culture Paris is Burning, Normal Heart, and More: 10 Must-See Foreign Films And Series This Pride Month 2020

Paris is Burning, Normal Heart, and More: 10 Must-See Foreign Films And Series This Pride Month 2020

Paris is Burning, Normal Heart, and More: 10 Must-See Foreign Films And Series This Pride Month 2020
By Franz Sorilla IV
By Franz Sorilla IV
June 08, 2020
We continue our round-up of films and series to watch this June as we look closely at the longstanding struggle for equal rights for all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions

1/10 Stonewall Outloud (2019)

 

This Youtube Originals documentary film directed by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey commemorates the milestone of the Stonewall riots of 1969 and the achievements of the modern gay rights movement. Narrated by RuPaul with appearances by the stars of the sensational reality series RuPaul's Drag Race, the film discusses the first documentary to chronicle the historic 1969 uprising that has sparked the movement. The documentary utilises thoughtful filmmaking style giving a heartfelt, moving cinematic experience.

Available on Youtube

Read also: Pride Month 2020: Die Beautiful, Changing Partners, Baka Bukas, And More — Filipino Movies To Watch

2/10 Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (2012)

 

This feature-length documentary focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha "Pay it No Mind" Johnson. With her final interview from 1992, director Michael Kasino captures the legendary gay/human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960's. She also looks back at the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the '70s, and her time as a New York City activist throughout the '80s and early '90s.

Marsha's tale lives on through her own words, as well as through in-depth interviews with gay activist Randy Wicker, former Cockettes performer Agosto Machado, author and columnist Michael Musto, Hot Peaches founder/performer Jimmy Camicia, and Stonewall Activists Bob Kohler, Danny Garvin, Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, and Martin Boyce.

Available on Youtube

3/10 Paris is Burning (1990)

 

Where does "voguing" come from, and what, exactly, is "throwing shade"? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag ball scene. Made over seven years, this film directed by Jennie Livingston offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion houses, from fierce contests for trophies, to house mothers offering sustenance in a world where house members face homophobia and transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Paris is Burning celebrates the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community.

Available on Google Play

4/10 Mrs America (2020)

 

Dahvi Waller's drama television series on Hulu stars Cate Blanchett and tackles the political movement to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Loosely based on the story of movement conservative and lawyer Phyllis Stewart Schlafly, the series explores the culture of the '70s, which shifted the American political landscape.

Available on Hulu

5/10 Feminists: What Were They Thinking? (2018)

 

Johanna Demetrakas' 2018 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival entry Feminists: What Were They Thinking? features women of different ages and backgrounds talking about the subject of feminism while revisiting the 1977 coffee table book Emergence by photographer Cynthia MacAdams. The film shows interviews with Jane Fonda, Lily Tromlin, and Judy Chicago as they also exchange their ideas on topics such as identity, abortion, race, childhood, and motherhood.

Available on Netflix

6/10 Transamerica (2005)

 

If you liked The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) and La Cage aux Folles (1978), here's a film we recommend for you to see. This 2005 comedy-drama film written and directed by Duncan Tucker premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and earned favourable reviews from critics and nods from award-giving bodies around the world.

The film follows Sabrina "Bree" Osbourne who is in one week before her vaginoplasty receives an unexpected phone call from a young stranger who claims to be her son. Her encounter with the young teenager which proceeds to an American roadtrip becomes an introspection to their connected past underlying with the important question of what will their lives be afterwards.

Available on Google Play

7/10 Milk (2008)

 

Gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk's 2008 biographical film directed by Gus Van Sant stars Sean Penn in the titular role; the movie itself has received much acclaim and accolades from guilds. It tells the struggles of the gay rights movement hero and how he was instrumental for the changes in the California state being its first openly gay elected official.

Available on Google Play

8/10 The Normal Heart (2014)

 

Larry Kramer's 1985 play gets adapted by Ryan Murphy depicting the rise of HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early '80s. The film follows writer and activist Ned Weeks, the founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group and his struggles to organise friends and colleagues to campaign awareness of the disease within the gay community of New York. A heartbreaking drama, The Normal Heart is a profound retelling of the harsh and unjust association of the said disease to gay men.

Available on Google Play

9/10 Angels In America (2003)

 

The Pulitzer-prize winning play Angels in America written by Tony Kushner was adapted by HBO in 2003 and earned much critical acclaim (including a historical four-major-awards Emmy win). It revolves around the rising HIV-AIDS cases in '80s, toxic masculinity, and white supremacy culture of the Reagan era while tackling topics of homophobia, gender rights, marriage, among others.

Read also: Tatler Review: Antlantis Theatrical's "Angels In America" (2019)

Available on HBO Go

10/10 (A)sexual (2011)

 

Facing a sex obsessed culture, a mountain of stereotypes and misconceptions, and a lack of social or scientific research, asexuals⁠—people who experience no sexual attraction⁠—struggle to claim their identity. Directed by Angela Tucker, the film premiered at the Frameline Film Festival and was inspired by the filmmaker's experience after reading a Salon article in May 2005 and learning about the life of American asexual activist David Jay, founder and webmaster of Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

Available in Amazon Prime Video

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