In celebration of Outfest 2021, here are a few LGBTQ+ films from across the globe
 
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In celebration of Outfest 2021, here are a few LGBTQ+ films from across the globe
Shilpa S
Aug 13, 2021
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For the longest time, queer identities have witnessed severe oppression when it comes to their representations on the silver screen. From their identities being played for laughs and being the butt of jokes, to framing them as villains and acts of perversion, cinema has not really been kind to the community. Such tone-deaf portrayals added to their misery, perpetuating harmful stereotypes which made them the target of even more oppression than what they had to historically endure. However, in contemporary cinema, filmmakers seem to have learnt from their mistakes to an extent, and the world of film is starting to witness several movies with authentic and sensitive portrayals of queer love and identity, that’s been long overdue. The Los Angeles-based LGBTQ+ non-profit Outfest is a key player when it comes to celebrating queer cinema, with a list of programmes, including film festivals aimed at furthering LGBTQ+ focused films. Outfest Los Angeles’ 39th edition of its film festival is set to start today.

As the Outfest film festival is set to kick off this week, here are a few global queer films which will get you thinking

1
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
8.4OTTplay Rating
A French drama set in the 18th century, Portrait of a Lady on Fire tells the story of a young woman painter Marianne who arrives at a remote island after receiving a commission from a wealthy countess to paint a portrait of the lady’s daughter, Héloïse, who is to be married. Marianne arrives at the pretense of being Héloïse’s companion and, as the latter has never agreed to pose for a portrait before, she paints her in secret. But in the coming days as the bond between the women develops into something profound, they both have to make difficult decisions as the wedding date gets closer.
2
Rafiki
6.9OTTplay Rating
A Kenyan drama set against the backdrop of the highly conservative East African nation, Rafiki made the history books by becoming the first Kenyan movie to be showcased at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the story of two girls, the daughters of bitter political rivals, whose flirty companionship blossoms into a loving relationship. However, their secret rosy relationship is not without hardships, in the face of disapproving parents and a highly regressive society.
3
Viva
7OTTplay Rating
Set in modern day Cuba, this Spanish film tells the story of a young hairdresser whose work at a drag club ignites in him a passion of performing the art onstage. However his dream suffers a setback as soon as he starts living it, when the young man’s homophobic father is released from prison and comes back into his life. The movie takes a deep dive into their complicated relationship in light of the young man’s new profession, which his father vehemently opposes.
4
Liz in September
6.3OTTplay Rating
A Venezuelan adaptation of the play Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, this Spanish film tells the story of a troubled woman Eva grieving the loss of her child, who inadvertently arrives accommodated by a group of gay woman for the week. While there, Eva bonds with one of the women, unaware of the latter’s actual intentions. Heralded as the first Spanish lesbian film in its marketing campaign, Liz in September showcases an authentic and sensitive portrayal of different aspects of a women life’s, friendship, grief and identity.
5
A Fantastic Woman
7.6OTTplay Rating
A Fantastic Woman tells the story of a young trans woman in Chile, whose life comes crashing around her when the love of her life passes away. She becomes an object of suspicion and scrutiny because of her identity, and the film reveals the excruciating detail of the reality of the oppression that trans people have to face. The Academy Award winning Spanish language film also featured a trans actress in the lead role, becoming one of the few films to make such a progressive move.

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