Lesbian cinema steps into the spot light
The success of Best Picture winner Moonlight, box office breakthrough Call Me By Your Name and hype over Beach Rats and God’s Own Country made 2017 a landmark year in LGBTQ+ cinema. However, these films are all about the boys, focussing exclusively on young gay men and their sexual awakenings. As important as it is to share male coming out stories – and the highly anticipated Love, Simon looks to further this trend in 2018 – the rest of the LGBTQ+ community continues to be overlooked by the film industry.
This could be the year to change that. Here are some of the upcoming films that share the too often silenced stories from the rest of the LGBTQ+ community:
A Fantastic Woman (UK - March 2018)
Another Sebastián Lelio film tipped for success, A Fantastic Woman follows Marina, a singer/waitress whose life is engulfed in turmoil when her partner Orlando dies. Scrutinised by the police and hounded by Orlando’s family, this noir film explores the harassment and humiliation that Marina experiences. It is possibly the first mainstream film with a trans protagonist that focusses on something other than coming out or transitioning. Furthermore, Marina is played by trans actress Daniela Vega, who is tipped for a Best Actress nomination at the Oscars.
Whilst the possibility of a trans woman being nominated for Best Actress shows how far the film industry has striven to improve their inclusivity, there is still a long way to go. For instance, none of the above explore POC or disabled LGBTQ+ experiences, which are consistently ignored by the media. Whilst the upcoming films deserve to be celebrated, there are still plenty more stories to tell.
Disobedience (UK - August 2018)
Adapted from Naomi Alderman's novel, directed by Sebastián Lelio and starring Hollywood favourites Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, there is a lot of hype around this film. It focusses on Ronit, who leaves her bohemian New York life to return to her orthodox Jewish community when her father dies. Back home, she rekindles the 'forbidden love' she once shared with Esti, who is now married to Ronit's cousin. Unafraid to explore the controversial subject of homosexuality within religion, reviews from the festival circuit have already tipped this to become an LGBT classic. It has already caused a stir due to an explicit sex scene between the two women. Let's hope this film is recognised for more than the critics' and audiences' fetishization of lesbian sex.
Vita and Virginia (TBC 2018)
Inspired by love letters written between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, this period drama explores the relationship between two of the most outspoken women of their time. Described by critics as a “timeless love story, told in a contemporary style, about two women who smashed through social barriers to find solace in their forbidden connection," it’s wonderful that the sexuality of respected historical figures is being explored instead of erased. Currently in post-production, it’s bound to be a hit when released later this year.