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Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

Gay Essential Review: Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life at Merlinka Festival

How do you make a documentary about the downfall of a porn star without leaning in to some of the more problematic stereotypes about people in that industry? Tomer Heymann’s fly on the wall examination of Jonathan Agassi manages to be a cautionary tale without ever demonising its subject, or the industry he works in.

Moffie

Gay Essential Review: Moffie at BFI London Film Festival

Set in a gruelling military environment in the early 1980’s, Oliver Hermanus’ film is his most brutal to date, unflinchingly depicting a toxic, masculine regime that serves only to indoctrinate the nation’s youth into a repugnant racist, homophobic ideology.

Gay Essential Review: End of the Century (Fin De Siglo) at BFI London Film Festival

After a hookup in a city the two lead characters are both briefly visiting, they discover a past connection that dramatically alters their perspectives of each other. It’s not the simple “love at first sight” film that it initially appears to be – and is all the more intriguing because of it.

This Is Not Berlin

Gay Essential Review: This Is Not Berlin (Esto No Es Berlín) at BFI London Film Festival

For his fourth feature, Mexican director Hari Sama has crafted an unusual coming of age story set within the punk underworld of the 80’s. On its own, this isn’t particularly unique – the power of rock music has helped many teenagers discover their own identities in the movies, and the conservative catholic backdrop of This is Not Berlin doesn’t twist this formula in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Huckleberry

Gay Essential Opinion: Huckleberry

Huckleberry has a crush on his lifelong friend Jolene, even though she’s deep in a relationship with Clint, a drug addicted, violent man far beneath her. Taking matters into his own hands, he irreparably changes the dynamics of his friendship group as he confuses seeking justice with winning the heart of a girl he has long admired.

Label Me

Gay Essential Opinion: Label Me

Outside of documentaries, the Syrian refugee crisis is yet to become a major subject in arthouse cinema, but its impact is beginning to be keenly felt by LGBT filmmakers. People arriving from a country with a hostile attitude towards gay people can find themselves struggling to fit in when arriving in a more welcoming environment, feeling displaced from the community in which they belong due to having to hide who they are for so long.

Cubby

Gay Essential Review: Cubby at Outfest

Fans of the unrelenting absurdism of Tim Robinson’s Netflix series I Think You Should Leave will be delighted to hear that an offbeat counterpart is currently making its way around the LGBTQ festival circuit. Cubby, the directorial debut of writer and star Mark Blane, is a distinctively queer spin on a comedic archetype largely reserved for straight protagonists: the man-baby who shirks adult responsibility at every opportunity, never ceasing to view the world through naive eyes.

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