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LGBT Studies

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Celebrating and commemorating the history and culture surrounding sexual diversity and queer identity, featuring the Academy Award winning Common Threads and Oscar nominated How to Survive a Plague, among others.

LGBT Studies Collection

  • Ahead of the Curve
    Ahead of the Curve | Director: Jen Rainin   Rivkah Beth Medow  
    Year of production: 2020| Country of production: Canada, USA | Language: English, Spanish (with full English subtitles available)

    With a fist full of credit cards & a lucky run at the track, Franco Stevens launched Curve, the best-selling lesbian magazine ever published. AHEAD OF THE CURVE is a must-see documentary for anyone hoping to understand identity politics around LGBTQ+ women in the early ’90s. Against the hostile backdrop of hate crimes and family rejection, with few celebrities or politicians willing to be out publicly, Curve magazine dared to show that lesbians, queer women, and non-binary people are fully human. Franco revisits Curve’s original mission, connecting with queer women leading today who share the belief that “true visibility looks like us being the authors of our own experience” and that “any type of visibility is radical, political.”

  • Here’s Looking at You, Boy
    Here’s Looking at You, Boy | Director: André Schäfer  
    Year of production: 2007| Country of production: France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden | Language: Dutch, English, French, German (with full English subtitles available)

    The coming-out of LGBT cinema and the slowly developing self-confidence of its makers and their audience. Originating from works like PARTING GLANCES, HAIRSPRAY or THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, the excerpts are not just milestones of LGBT cinema – they are key works of the cinema per se. Pedro Almodóvar, Rosa von Praunheim, Ang Lee or Derek Jarman have changed the face of cinema. Jude Law, Rupert Everett or Daniel Day-Lewis have breathed life into roles that were never seen before. Stephen Frears, Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, François Ozon, Gus Van Sant unfold the story of gay cinema over the last few decades.

  • 5 Days in New York
    5 Days in New York | Director: André Schäfer   Oliver Bätz  
    Year of production: 2014| Country of production: Germany | Language: English (with full English subtitles available)

    On June 28th 1969 the New York Police Department conducted a raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. To the surprise of the policemen, the partying bar patrons decided to defend themselves and fought back.
    Today, this incident is celebrated in a series of colourful and flamboyant parties in cities all over the world. Everywhere, people are remembering the pioneers of the gay and lesbian movement 47 years ago. Five Days in New York takes the viewers back to the origins of the gay pride movement in New York City.

  • Common Threads
    Common Threads | Director: Rob Epstein   Jeffrey Friedman  
    Year of production: 1989| Country of production: USA | Language: English (with full English subtitles available)

    In the late 1970’s, a mysterious new disease began infecting – and killing – gay men. Common Threads tells the powerful story of the first decade of the AIDS epidemic, as told through the lives of five very diverse individuals who shared a common fate.
    Using the monumental NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt as its central metaphor, the film weaves together personal memories and television news stories to expose the U.S. government’s failure to respond to the growing epidemic, and the vibrant protest movement that was born as a result.

  • Before the Last Curtain Falls
    Before the Last Curtain Falls | Director: Thomas Wallner  
    Year of production: 2014| Country of production: Belgium, Germany | Language: English, French (with full English subtitles available)

    Belgian choreographer Alain Platel asked a number of older drag queens and trans cabaret artists to perform onstage one last time in his piece Gardenia, which became a global success.
    The film intercuts shots from Gardenia with interviews in which these performers talk about the choices they made, going against the grain of conventions in order to become themselves. The contrast between their outrageous performances and their vulnerability offers unsettling but multifaceted insight into these remarkable individuals.

  • Inside the Chinese Closet
    Inside the Chinese Closet | Director: Sophia Luvarà  
    Year of production: 2015| Country of production: Netherlands | Language: Chinese (with full English subtitles available)

    The intricate tale of Andy and Cherry looking for love and happiness in Shanghai. They are homosexual but their families demand a (heterosexual) marriage and a baby from them. Because being single and childless would mean an unacceptable loss of face for their rural families in the remote countryside where they live. Will Andy and Cherry deny their happiness and sexual orientation to satisfy their parents’ wishes? Their stories mirror the legal and cultural progress that is happening in China against the backdrop of a nation coming to terms with new moral values.

  • How to Survive a Plague
    How to Survive a Plague | Director: David France  
    Year of production: 2012| Country of production: USA | Language: English (with full English subtitles available)

    Faced with their own mortality, an improbable group of mostly HIV-positive young men and women broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. How To Survive A Plague is the story of how activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

  • The Good Son
    The Good Son | Director: Shirly Berkowitz  
    Year of production: 2013| Country of production: Israel | Language: English, Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)

    The unbelievable story of 22 year old Or, who secretly finances his sex change operation in Thailand by lying to his conservative parents – and then returns home as a woman to face her new life, her family and the cost of living her dream. Will her mother and father accept her back? Will she learn to take responsibility for her actions? The Good Son explores how far we are forced to go in compromising our morals, our loved ones and everything familiar to us in order to become whole with ourselves.

  • Seeds of Summer
    Seeds of Summer | Director: Hen Lasker  
    Year of production: 2007| Country of production: Israel | Language: Hebrew (with full English subtitles available)

    Seven years after completing an IDF course for female combat soldiers, the director returns to the place where, for the first time, she fell in love with a woman – her commanding officer. Over the course of 66 days and nights, the film follows the girls in one of the IDF’s most rigorous combat courses and looks at the relationships that develop between girls in an environment subject to strict military code.

  • Paragraph 175
    Paragraph 175 | Director: Rob Epstein   Jeffrey Friedman  
    Year of production: 2000| Country of production: USA | Language: English (with full English subtitles available)

    Weimar Germany was a homosexual Eden in the 1920s: gay and lesbian nightclubs and magazines flourished, the first gay-rights movement was born… and then the Nazis came to power. The persecution of homosexuals at the hands of the Nazis is relatively undiscussed. Homosexual victims of the Holocaust were one of the last groups to come forward with their stories.
    Using both intimate personal portrayals and a sweeping narrative, PARAGRAPH 175 features elderly homosexual men who vividly describe their experiences during the Nazi era and reveal the long-term consequences of this hidden chapter of history.

  • I Am a Woman Now
    I Am a Woman Now | Director: Michiel van Erp  
    Year of production: 2011| Country of production: Netherlands | Language: Dutch, English, French, German (with full English subtitles available)

    Since the 1950s, sex change operations have been available in Casablanca. These trailblazing operations were as rare as they were risky; the patients were not required to undergo any kind of psychological assessment beforehand. Filmmaker Michiel van Erp asks five pioneering trans-women (including famed British socialite April Ashley) if their experiences of womenhood matched their expectations at the time of their transition. What have their lives been like since and how did the world react to this first generation of transsexuals?

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