Emory Libraries is pleased to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month in June. This month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, when a raid against the Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City, resulted in an act of mass resistance that exploded into a protest of thousands. While not the first instance of LGBTQ resistance against police harassment, the Uprising became the watershed moment in the history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
During this month, the Emory Libraries Blog will highlight library resources in this area. The feature films and documentaries selected below encompass both classic and more recent titles and reflect a diverse spectrum of experiences. More blog entries are planned for LGBTQ History Month in October.
For more streaming video content, explore Library Search (the library catalog) and streaming video platforms such as Kanopy Streaming, Alexander Street Press Academic Video Online (AVON), and Docuseek. These streaming video resources are available to current Emory faculty, staff and students.
By James Steffen, head of Humanities Team and Film and Media Studies librarian
Updated for Summer 2022 by Chris Palazzolo, head of Collection Management and social sciences librarian
“In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city’s gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the Gay Liberation Movement had begun. After Stonewall, the sequel to Before Stonewall, chronicles the history of lesbian and gay life from the riots at Stonewall to the end of the century. It captures the hard work, struggles, tragic defeats and exciting victories experienced since them. It explores how AIDS literally changed the direction of the movement.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Dan Hunt, 1999.
“France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse first moments of freedom. Héloïse portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and a testament to their love.” (Publisher Description). Directed by Céline Schimma, 2021
“This simmering drama is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and an award-winner at Sundance and Berlinale. Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) arrives Johnny is confronted with new emotions. An intense relationship forms between the two which could change Johnny’s life forever.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Francis Lee, 2017.
“Unsettled is a feature documentary that traces the untold stories of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution in Africa and the Middle East and are trying to resettle in the United States. Having escaped Islamic terrorist death threats in Syria, beatings by a homophobic father, and a nation devastated by war, Subhi finds his voice as a leader for refugee rights in the U.S. Lesbian couple Cheyenne and Mari flee brutal harassment in their native Angola to face uncertain asylum through the American immigration courts while pursuing their dreams of becoming musicians. Junior, a gender non-conforming gay man from the Congo, struggles to create a livelihood and secure basic housing while exploring a more fluid gender identity. Unsettled reveals the stories of a group that most people know little about. What are the costs persecuted immigrants pay for seeking refuge and how are everyday Americans stepping forward to help those most in need?” (Publisher Description). Directed by Tom Shephard, 2019.
“Lining the roads of Spain, masked by miles and miles of pine trees, are unmarked graves in which over a hundred twenty thousand victims of the Franco regime are buried. Among them is Spain’s most famous poet, Federico García Lorca, who has become the symbol for both the historical memory and LGBT movements. The film explores the examined history of LGBT oppression during Spain’s fascist regime, and places it within the larger human rights struggle to find some justice for Franco’s victims. But how does a country excavate a past that is actively suppressed?” (Publisher Description.) Directed by Andrea Weiss, 2017.
“Despite a political rivalry between their families, Kena and Ziki resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Wanuri Kahia, 2018.
“Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older than her and owns a printing company. After celebrating Marina’s birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando’s family don’t trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando’s ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando’s son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando’s family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion. So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.” (Publisher Description). Directed by Sebastian Leilo, 2017.
“An intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates sobriety, adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Shaleece Haas, 2016.
“In an experimental amalgam of rap music, street poetry, documentary film, and dance, a gay African-American man expresses what it is like to be gay and black in the United States. Although he deals with social ostracism and fear of AIDS, he affirms the beauty and significance of the gay black man.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Marlon T. Riggs, 1989.
“Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930’s. Cheryl is surprised to discover that Richards (known popularly as “the Watermelon Woman”) had a white lesbian lover.” (Publisher description.) The film became associated with nationwide controversy when a conservative journalist and later a House Representative questioned Cheryl Dunye’s receipt of National Endowment for the Arts funding to shoot the film. Directed by Cheryl Dunye, 1996.
Cherry Grove (Fire Island, NY) is the first openly LGBTQ community in the United States. One of the most accepting resort communities in the world, it is a place where everyone can discover who they really and enjoy being a free spirt. (Publisher Description). Directed by
“For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15 year-old Alex (Ines Efron,) who was born an intersex child. As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Álvaro (Martin Piroyanski.) Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.” (Publisher description.) Directed by Lucía Puenzo, 2007.