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The Queer on the Silver Screen

The Queer on the Silver Screen

by Revati Tongaonkar August 30 2017, 9:02 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 49 secs

Over the last few decades, the world has seen a change in the perception of queer people among the masses.  More and more LGBTQ persons began to express their identities and raise their voices for equal rights, and this has come to reflect in the kind of art that we make, in the increasing number of well-written queer characters in mainstream movies, in the growing number of trans persons shown on our screens, and in the commercial success that such movies have found.

Writers at recently listed their favorite LGBTQ movies of the last century, here are their top eight:

-The Handmaiden

South Korean director Park Chan-wook's adaptation of the fictional novel 'Fingersmith' is a brilliant movie, following the story of a con man and two women he seeks to seduce, becoming a sinister, yet erotic thriller that is every bit as gorgeous as it is thrilling.


Sean Baker's bold story follows two trans girls as they work the streets of downtown L.A. The film won praise for casting real trans women in the lead, and being shot entirely on an iPhone camera, and for the raw intimacy it captured.


An account of a story of just three days, Weekend by director Andrew Haige is one of the most stirring stories of two people simply falling in love. In spite of the tried-and-tested formula, what works for the story is the natural believability of the characters they play, and how Haige manages to squeeze in the full force of a relationship in just a weekend.

-Stranger by the Lake

Director Alain Guiraudie's thriller is a dreamy narrative, exploring the story of an anonymous encounter, with a overlap of a murder story. The lurking tension throughout the development of the queer relationship makes for a beautiful cocktail of a creation.


Celine Sciamma's Tomboy takes a close look at the confusions of growing up, talking succinctly on gender, sex and identity, with her characters at an age where we begin to seek answers. The forthright and blunt story sits well with the 82 minutes of screen time it has.


Set in America in the mid-50s, Carol is timeless, talking of the forbidden love between a young woman and an older one, at a time when such things were unimaginable. Their love, built on sideways glances and stolen kisses, makes the viewer immediately empathise with the story, and director Tody Haynes manages to capture the tussle between desire, and what is possible. 

-Brokeback Mountain

An evergreen classic, any queer movie list is incomplete without a mention of Brokeback Mountain. Ang Lee's adaptation of the novel by Annie Proux tells the tale of a fated romance, and of how love knows no bounds of either space or time. A sweet, sweet story of the love between two cowboys, the film showcases their bond in the briefest of words, making it seem as natural as it is.

- Moonlight

Filmmaker Barry Jenkin's coming-of-age drama chronicles the story of 'Black' at three stages of his life, and is so much more than just representation of gay black men, telling an emotionally gripping story through the filter of queer identity. The film is as much about growing up and coming to terms with life, as it is about coming to terms with ones queerness. 


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.