Do you think you have a good grasp of what life in Tel Aviv looks like nowadays? Bar Bahar might pleasantly surprise you. Stereotypes surrounding Israeli women for decades are unreservedly shattered and taboo subjects are openly discussed in Maysaloun Hamoud’s brash and buoyant 2016 motion picture.
Ireland has been a fairly cold, distant place for gay people for too long. It was only three years ago that the country had passed marriage equality through public vote, under the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution. An inspiring documentary about the history of LGBTQ rights, The 34th sensibly depicts the long road to marriage equality in the Irish state, as well as the touching love story between politician Katherine Zappone and theologian Ann Louise Gilligan.
It’s fairly easy to say that you’ve never seen a film quite like Good Manners. This Brazilian odyssey mixes elements of comedy, fantasy, horror and dark drama to tell a story that continually subverts expectations. It’s also made with a resonant sense of emotional depth that gets under the skin, so the story and characters become more involving as the movie gets increasingly bizarre.
For his writing-directing debut, actor Rupert Everett ambitiously recreates the final three years of Oscar Wilde’s life in a swirling, artistic odyssey. Everett has a lifelong interest in Wilde, including roles in films based on Wilde’s work and a series of TV documentary explorations of homosexuality in Victorian Britain. So in many ways The Happy Prince feels like the culmination of Everett’s life’s work.
Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio has quickly grown to become a major figure in world cinema, with his most internationally acclaimed titles empathetically depicting the emotional struggles of women who don’t fit into perceived societal norms. There’s no wonder he’s been labelled by many as a successor to Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, and his English language debut Disobedience only furthers that comparison.
Riveting and sincere, Anucha Boonyawatana’s powerful feature film bluntly, but calmly reminds us of the inescapable reality of death. From its roots as a chilling, complex concept to its nitty-gritty manifestation as a decaying, irrepressible force in the universe, Malila: The Farewell Flower looks at death from a variety of enlightening perspectives.
Wearing its queer credentials on its brightly coloured, ruffled sleeve, this flamboyant drama delivers a remarkably steely message about identity. It may be archly made by first-time feature director Trudie Styler (aka Mrs Sting), but it’s also beautifully anchored in another richly detailed, deeply committed performance from Alex Lawther.
Narrative is not needed to create an enthralling, one-of-a-kind story that keeps you glued to your screen. This is what Pedro Diogenes and Guto Parente’s mesmerizing feature film proves without a shadow of a doubt. My Own Private Hell (Inferninho) is a deliciously strange and visually stunning motion picture that oscillates between drama and impressively well-executed dark humor.
Antonio Lopez was one of the most influential people in the fashion world, although almost no one outside it has heard of him. And this documentary is designed to set the record straight, as it were. It’s a lively, skilfully assembled portrait of a vibrant artist whose life and work made an indelible mark not just within fashion circles but in pop culture at large.