It used to be hard to find a good LGBT film to while away an hour or so. A lot of low budget indie productions, some mainstream movies, and the occasional series did float around, but hardly ever made it onto our tellies.
Also, they were almost always about gay men, with the odd film focusing on a lesbian relationship, and barely any representation for the rest of the community.
These days, however, we have almost the opposite problem. Netflix has an LGBT category and (especially if you know how to watch other countries’ Netflix) it is vast.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of dross. There are plenty of gems, but they’re not easy to find among such stinkers as The 10 Year Plan or I Am Michael.
To help you, here are five top LGBT films on Netflix.
1. Other People
You may know Jesse Plemons as the child-killing sociopath on the final season of Breaking Bad. He played an accidental murderer in the second season of Fargo. But in Other People he plays a lovable misfit, trying to come to terms with the life that hasn’t quite worked out while his mother dies of cancer. His father’s refusal to accept him as a gay man is central to much of the family dynamics, and this emotional film pulls all the right strings.
Israel’s conflict with Palestine has been going on for decades and you’re probably sick of it. Nonetheless, you’ll fall in love with the 3 Palestinians behind Oriented, a documentary that follows them as they come out as gay in a region that’s never at peace. They candidly struggle with identity issues, especially when one ends up dating a Jewish Israeli on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
3. The Death And Life Of Marsha P Johnson
Marsha P Johnson was one of the central figures in the Stonewall riots that kickstarted the gay liberation movement. Her identity is up for debate, as Marsha never defined herself as transgender, rather as a gay transvestite. Nonetheless, she was a hero for many in the LGBT community, especially African Americans. Her tragic death remained a mystery, and this film focuses on activist Maria Lopez’s fight to get the case reopened.
4. Hurricane Bianca
Okay, this is a “terrible” film. The acting is bad and the plot is sometimes nonsensical. But I loved every moment of it. Bianca Del Rio is the winner of Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and plays the titular character. Fired because of the homophobic school she teaches at, Bianca comes back in drag to teach and inspire the school to embrace difference. It is cloying and cliched, but it still holds a lot of feeling and is worth the watch.
Carol is based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, The Price Of Salt. The novel is noted as one of the first positive portrayals of a lesbian relationship in literature. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara bring the characters to life, portraying a believable relationship that does not shy away from the realities of how difficult love is, no matter what your sexuality.
Image courtesy of Fresh Movie Trailers via YouTube, with thanks.