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Diversify the Queer Media You Watch!

Let’s be real: There just aren’t that many (good) queer films or television programmes. You’ve probably already seen Brokeback Mountain, But I’m a Cheerleader and Carol multiple times. I get it, me too. But what if I told you that there’s a whole world of queer films and shows out there that are just as good? We just need to look beyond the English-speaking and/or the Eurocentric world to find them…


Africa

Rafiki, Kenya

The Wound [Inxeba], South Africa

Dakan, Guinea

Shall I Compare You To a Summer’s Day?, Egypt


Queer African cinema is on the rise! Rafiki, the 2018 film that was originally banned in its home country of Kenya, went on to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival with great success. However, let's not forget the film that paved the way: Dakan, released in 1997, is considered the first Black African queer film.


Asia

In Between [بَر بَحَر], Palestine

Happy Together [春光乍洩], Hong Kong

Badhaai Do, India

Margarita with a Straw, India

Fish and Elephant [今年夏天], China

Tropical Malady [สัตว์ประหลาด], Thailand

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, India

The Handmaiden [아가씨], South Korea


You've probably heard of The Handmaiden, a retelling of Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith, but have you seen any of these other wonderful films? Fish and Elephant is largely regarded to be China’s first lesbian film, whilst recent years have brought many queer Indian films, such as the heartwarming comedy Badhaai Do and coming-of-age story Margarita with a Straw.


Europe

Holy Camp! [La llamada], Spain

Elisa & Marcela, Spain

Anne+, The Netherlands

So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! [Salir del ropero], Spain

BPM (Beats Per Minute), France

Water Lilies [Naissance des Pieuvres], France

Someone Has to Die [Alguien tiene que morir], Spain


When you think of queer European cinema, you probably land on Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Call Me By Your Name – both great films, but there are many more out there. Water Lilies was Portrait director Céline Sciamma’s first feature film, whilst lesser known Spanish productions such as Holy Camp! and So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! deserve to be queer classics just as much as their English-language counterparts.


North America

The House of Flowers [La casa de las flores], Mexico

Reservation Dogs, U.S.

Certain Women, U.S.


North America has a lot to offer in terms of Indigenous queer cinema. Certain Women stars Lily Gladstone, the first Native American actor to win a Golden Globe, whilst award-winning Reservation Dogs boasts an almost completely Indigenous cast and production crew.



South America

The Firefly [La luciérnaga], Colombia

A Fantastic Woman [Una mujer fantástica], Chile

Eva and Candela [Eva y Candela], Colombia

The Way He Looks [Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho], Brazil

Plan B, Argentina


South America’s wide range of queer media includes one of the (unfortunately) few films on this list to star a trans character, A Fantastic Woman. This wonderful film won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Oscars.


Next time you don't know what to watch, consider one of these incredible queer films! International cinema and television deserve just as much love as productions in our mother tongues; give them a chance and you’ll soon see what you've been missing out on. Happy viewing!


By Holly (she/her)

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