19 Jan Films for lesbians, queer women and WLW
These films feature women who love women, lesbians, queer women and more.
If you’re a fan of stories that revolve around women, these are the films for you. The Mardi Gras Film Festival has hand-picked a few selections featuring lesbians and queer women to get you started, but you can view the whole program here.
Sweetheart – Still in the process of discovering herself, AJ is pretty sure no one understands her. With her bucket-hat and tinted sunglasses, she is the picture of an awkward teenage lesbian. Definitely not her mum, who drags her along to a retro family holiday park. Fortunately, it is here that AJ meets the beautiful Isla and begins to reconsider what she knows about herself and others.
Bound – Femme fatales unite! Celebrate this 90s queer noir that opened our festival 25 years ago, directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, about Violet and Corky, two lovers caught in a dastardly web.
Mayfly – A classic coming-of-age, tinged with hallmark Latin American magical realism that sets this charming, heartfelt film apart.
Bliss – This German film tells the story two sex workers, and the fleeting moments of bliss they manage to create between themselves.
Lesbian+ Shorts – This set of shorts will bring on the wanderlust for excitement, adventure and discovery. Travel the world to pop the question, fall in love at first sight, represent with the art of drag and discover more in settings rural and urban.
The First Girl I Loved – Ming Lee and Sylvia reconnect the night before Sylvia’s wedding to reflect on their high school relationship. This tale of first love and heartbreak from Hong Kong is a beautifully tender and nostalgic piece of cinema.
The Divide – In the medical black-comedy The Divide, Raf enters a struggling French hospital with a broken arm and a broken heart, hoping to win back her unhappy wife as disparate patients are forced to interact and Paris erupts in protest around them.
Leading Ladies – A rambling old house in Colombia is the intimate setting for this compelling drama, where five women present at a dinner party reveal betrayals, secrets and more. Handheld cinematography and improvised dialogue take the viewer on a journey through each woman’s point of view, and a greater, more intricate story is revealed.
Ma Belle, My Beauty – Bertie, Fred and Lane once comprised a youthful polyamorous throuple. Now, Bertie and Fred are married, producing music in the idyllic French countryside. Despite the seemingly picturesque setting, Bertie is miserable. But when Lane unexpectedly reappears, old feelings and tensions arise.
Check out an interview with director, Marion Hill here.
No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics – This doco examines the history of queer comics and their creators, including Alison Bechdel and Howard Cruse. Addressing events such as Stonewall, AIDS and censorship, their proud and unashamed comics continue to inspire. Featuring interviews and gorgeous visuals, this is a joy from start to finish.
As We Like It – Including an all-female cast, animated sequences, light cyberpunk as well as the tradition of Shakespeare and Taiwanese culture melded together in perfect harmony, As We Like It is a rare and entertaining treat.
Rebel Dykes – In 1980s Britain, the leather-clad, radical Rebel Dykes of London made significant and often uncelebrated contributions to queer activism amid Thatcher’s stifling conservatism and homophobic policies. For the first time, their legacy and wild testimonies are captured in the documentary Rebel Dykes. A wild and joyous capture of their artistically radical, feminist subculture and anarchist spirit.
Querencia – Two women confront their similar intersectional identities with vastly different approaches in Querencia. Leaving behind her community at the rez, Daka moves to Vancouver to audition for a dance company. She comes out of her shell when she matches with Abe, played by the series’ creator Mary Galloway. Trying to make a new life together, both women must explore and negotiate their Indigiqueer identities. A romantic, coming-of-age story from Canada that has rarely been seen on screen before.
The Nowhere Inn – Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) and Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein explore fame and authenticity in this uniquely entertaining mockumentary. Bizarre and surprising, this will be one of the most unique films you will see this year!
Seyran Ateş: Sex, Revolution and Islam – Directed by Turkish-Norwegian, Nefise Özkal Lorentzen, this controversial documentary highlights the immense courage it takes to go against the grain and stand up for what you believe in.
Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music – The world of country music in the US is fraught with sexism and homophobia even today, but that didn’t stop these queer people from pursuing and succeeding in careers as songwriters.