June is Pride month and at the library we are showcasing 30 films from our collection that celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and history. Every Friday in June we will post 7 films that highlight positive, inclusive representation and discuss the history and important figures in the movement for equality. In celebration of Juneteenth, this week we will be focusing on the Queer Black experience.
An Academy Award winning film for Best Film, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay, this tour de force follows the life of Chiron as he grows up in Miami, Florida. Shot in three parts, we follow him through his adolescence, youth, and adulthood. The film delves into exploring the sexuality and identity of Chiron as he experiences physical and emotional abuses and the different people that have impacted his life. Watch the trailer here.
When art student Perry is kicked out his family home for his relationship with a white male schoolmate, he meets and befriends an elderly homeless man named Bruce Nugent who turns out to be a writer from the Harlem Renaissance. As Bruce discusses his relationship with other famous Black authors Langston Hughes, Aaron Douglas, and Zora Neale Hurston, they discover that the struggles Bruce experienced parallel those faced by Perry decades later. Watch the trailer here.
This documentary is based on the unfinished manuscript Remember This House left by the late critic, writer, thinker and activist James Baldwin. Based on his personal recollections of Civil Rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. and their untimely murders. It also examines the world that he lived in and the ways in which the world has continued to oppress the African diaspora. Baldwin was openly gay and wrote several stories and plays that highlight the parallel themes of struggle for both the LGBTQ+ movement and the movement for Civil rights. Watch the trailer here.
Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety. Banned in its home country, "Rafiki" challenges deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family in Kenya. Watch the trailer here.
Based on the life of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, this film chronicles her transformation from a struggling young singer into 'The Empress of the Blues', who became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and is an enduring icon today. Her love for men and women is indelibly tied to the times from which she came, showcasing the excess of the roaring twenties and the horrors of the Great Depression. Watch the trailer here.
A classic 90’s crime thriller, follow four women as they decide to rob a bank to support their families and to get back at the society that has pushed them to the edge. After Frankie gets fired from her bank teller job unjustly, she meets three other women at her new job as a cleaner. One of the women, butch lesbian Cleo, joins in order to help finance her queer cred. Watch the trailer here.
This portrait of Jason Holliday, a black gay prostitute who dreams of a career as a nightclub performer, is drawn from twelve consecutive hours of filming in a New York City apartment. As he reminisces about his life, Holliday discusses the gay subcultures in San Francisco and New York. He jokes with the off-screen filmmaker and crew and maintains a sense of humor even as he recalls hustling, heroin addiction, and jail time. Watch the trailer here.