A hilarious (and touching) film that was shot on an iPhone, Tangerine follows transgender sex worker Sin-Dee Rella, having just served a 28-day jail term, discovering her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman. Her friend Alexandra joins her on a joyful and heartbreaking romp through Los Angeles, with Sean Baker directing the story to perfection.
Critically acclaimed and visually visceral, Pariah tells the story of 17-year-old Alike discovering her lesbian identity. The film deals with Alike’s family dynamic as her mother slowly starts to disapprove of her daughter's burgeoning sexuality. Out director Dee Rees is now up for an Oscar for this year's Mudbound.
James Baldwin, one of the most influential black queer voices in American history, had much to say about the icons around him. Decades after the writer and activist's death, a book he never finished about the murders of his peers Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and Medgar Evers was transformed into this award-winning documentary.
Based on bisexual author Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple chornicles the traumatic life of Celie, a Southern African-American woman living in the early 20th century. Celie overcomes racism and sexism and triumphantly finds herself in the process. In the Oscar-winning Steven Spielberg classic, Celie not only learns to love herself, but other women (though her same-sex attraction is explored more thoroughly in Walker's novel).
The Skinny follows five queer friends (Magnus, Kyle, Sebastian, Joey, and Langston) as they meet up for a weekend in New York City to celebrate Pride. The story sees all of the characters at various moments in their life, each experiencing different but important events while in New York.
The first feature film by a black lesbian, The Watermelon Woman tells the story of Cheryl, a young black lesbian who works at a video rental store. She is simultaneously trying to make a film about an actress known as the Watermelon Woman who played a mammy-type figure in an old movie she watched.
The 2017 Best Picture Oscar-winner Moonlight is an astonishing coming-of-age film about Chiron, a black youth growing up in Miami. Chiron, seem through three different phases of life, struggles with being poor, black, gay, and forgotten. Barry Jenkins pulls amazing performances from actors like Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monae.
Four black women plan to rob a bank, each with their own fascinating motivation. The queer girl of the bunch, Cleo, needs money to bolster her butch cred. F. Gary Gray directed this 1996 film about four black women; a very different project than the other big-budget black-led female film of that time, Waiting to Exhale.