I’ve watched all the sexuality themed films in the following list and I’m happy to recommend them. I’ll update this section whenever I see something that I think bgiok visitors will find helpful, informative or simply entertaining.
Let me know about your favourite sexuality themed film and it might be added to the list.
Skins meets Glee when a last chance dance class becomes a therapeutic encounter between adolescents struggling with their ideas about sexuality and adulthood in a very British comedy, made with the support of gay, lesbian and bisexual charity, Stonewall.
Karmel likes make-up and trendy clothes, yet she also likes girls. Does she need to fit the lesbian stereotype? Ryan is one of the lads. Computer games, beer and bullying is the name of his game, yet a secret crush on fellow pupil Tegs threatens to blow his cover. Isaac, meanwhile, uses muscles and a hot head to threaten his schoolmates with violence should they display a gay attitude in his vicinity. It is down to loud and proud drama teacher Loris and his pink leotard to show these kids that they share a lot more in common than they first thought.
FIT is the feature film adaptation of Stonewall’s highly successful play for schools aimed at tackling homophobic bullying, seen by more than 20,000 students around the UK.
A brilliant and funny film exploring attitudes toward homosexuality in school. It examines the lives of several characters as they come to terms with their own sexuality and that of their peers. The characters will surprise you as they are not always who you may first assume they are, just like in real life – and that’s the point.
Fit struck a chord with me, as someone who was bullied in secondary school for being gay. Whether you’ve experienced homophobia directly in school or not, I think Fit will resonate with many bgiok readers too and perhaps answer some of your questions. An important and groundbreaking film that’s been sent to every secondary schools in the UK. Also available for general sale to the public.
Loose Cannons (15)
Award-winning director Ferzan Özpetek’s Loose Cannons lifts the lid on a multi-generational household coming to terms with a rapidly modernising world.
Tommaso is the youngest son of the well-to-do Cantone family, who own a pasta factory in Puglia. His mother Stefania is loving but stifled by bourgeois convention; his father Vincenzo has unrealistically high expectations of his children; his aunt Luciana is an eccentric; his sister Elena a frustrated housewife; his brother Antonio works with their father at the pasta factory; and then there is his rebellious grandmother, trapped in the memory of an impossible love. All of them loose cannons in their own way…
Tommaso returns home from Rome to attend an important family dinner at which his father intends to hand over management of the family business to him and his brother, and their new associate Brunetti. Determined to assert his own personal choices, Tommaso plans to announce at the dinner that he is gay. But that evening, just as he begins to say “silence please”, he is upstaged by his brother who, to everyone’s surprise, reveals his own secret! Antonio is promptly disowned and father Vincenzo collapses from a heart attack.
With the family in a state of turmoil, Tommaso reluctantly steps in to run the factory with the new business partner’s daughter, Alba. Despite his growing affection for the gorgeous but complex Alba, Tommaso’s heart isn’t in it and he misses his life in Rome. But how can he come out now and risk damaging his father’s health further? A surprise visit from his friends forces some well hidden family secrets to the surface and some realisations along the way. Loose Cannons is an uproarious, uplifting and moving comedy ‘al dente’.
Bittersweet, beautiful and deeply romantic. Instantly became one of my favourite films. Highly recommended.
Kick Off (15)
What happens when the hardest team in the Sunday Soccer league comes up against a gay team and finds they’ve finally met their match? Watch and wince as fledging referee Elton Glixton struggles to control this testosterone tsunami as rude-boy meets bum-boy in this outrageous new comedy set in the crazy gung-ho world of 5-a-side football.
Trailblazing British director Rikki Beadle Blair’s (Metrosexuality, Stonewall) latest celebration of youth and being out and proud stars a whole slew of exciting young British talent, with some familiar faces in Stephen Hoo (FIT), Jay Brown (Summer) and Jason Maza (TV’s Casualty).
Kick off has drama, surprises, angst, lots of guys with their shirts off, and plenty of laughs. Not much football takes place and the second half is more like an episode of Jeremy Kyle on astroturf, but the film never promised to be a hard and serious look at homophobia in football. That’s not to say there isn’t an important message or two to be found here. Written and directed by FIT’s Rikki Beadle-Blair, and sharing many of the same cast, Kick Off challenges preconceptions and prejudice using likeable characters and punchy dialogue.
Were the world mine (12)
A dazzlingly original tale, complete with glittering musical numbers, Were The World Mine is a feel-good gay classic for a new generation. After being cast as the star of his high school’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, gay town outcast Timothy discovers a magical love potion that has the power to turn complete strangers desperately in love. But what initially seems like a dream come true begins to get decidedly complicated when Timothy causes both the jock of his dreams and his best friend to fall in love with him. A gay take on the genre-defining teen comedies of John Hughes, Were the World Mine explores the pleasure and pain of coming of age as a gay man in a truly refreshing way.
A wonderful, warm comedy. Timothy is picked on in school because of his sexuality but gains the magical power of a love potion that turns people gay. Suddenly his unrequited love becomes his boyfriend and most of the town are seeing what it’s like to walk in Timothy’s shoes. I’d thoroughly recommend the soundtrack too; I had it on repeat for weeks after seeing the film.
On June 27, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York. In a spontaneous show of support and frustration, the city’s gay community rioted for three nights in the streets, an event that is considered the birth of the modern Gay Rights Movement. Revealing and often humorous, the award winning Before Stonewall exposes the fascinating and unforgettable decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America, from 1920’s Harlem through to World War II and the witch hunt trials of the McCarthy era. Before Stonewall is essential viewing for all those who have celebrated their sexuality, or have been persecuted because of it.
Best Historical/Cultural Program and Best Research – Emmy Awards
“Touching, warm and funny… a near-perfect balance between historical and political perspectives” – Time Out
Originally released in 1985, Before Stonewall is a fascinating insight into gay life between 1990 and 1960s in America. Featuring archival film footage and photography, and much interview footage with those who lived through so much change, the documentary is an enlightening collection of memories of very brave people. A must for anyone interested in gay history and culture.
Charged with the electric crackle of first love, this sweet and sexy California romance is about a confused young artist torn between his family and his future. Fresh out of high school, Zach (Trevor Wright) gives up a full scholarship to spare his 5-year-old nephew from their dysfunctional family. Now restless and isolated, the gifted youth toils at a local diner.
But everything changes when he finds himself drawn to thirtysomething Shaun (Brad Rowe), a confident young writer. As the two hit the surf and Shaun’s mattress with equal enthusiasm, they fall into a secret relationship that may give Zach the courage he needs to follow his passions.
A moving love and coming out story. Zach falls in love with friend Shaun, and must come to terms with his sexuality and break free of his other shackles in order to be happy and live the life he wants. Another film with a soundtrack well worth checking out too.
Beautiful Thing (15)
A long hot summer on a housing estate in South London. Jamie is bunking off school, whilst his mother Sandra juggles job promotion and her relationship with hippy-dippy boyfriend Tony. Next door lives sassy Leah, who spends her day listing to Mama Cass records. In the same block, Jamie’s class mate Ste, although sporty and popular at school, is bullied by his drunken father. One-day, Steve seeks refuge in Sandra’s flat and ends up sleeping head to toe with Jamie…
A gritty but tender and uplifting British film about two young men who live in the same block of flats in London and unexpectedly fall in love. A film about love, self-acceptance, coming out and parental relationships. Well acted, moving and also hilariously funny in place.
Eyes wide open (12)
Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, is married to Rivka and is a dedicated father of four children. One day, he meets Ezri, a handsome twenty-two year old student, and soon falls in love with him. He then starts to neglect his family and community life, swept away by his love and lust for Ezri. Meanwhile, paralleling this relationship, a neighbouring shopkeeper persists in seeing a man of her own choosing, even though she’s been promised by her father to another.
Eventually, guilt, torment and pressure from the community will catch up with the forbidden affairs, leading them to make radical decisions…
Unlike a lot of gay drama, both the men in this film understand that they have same-sex desire/are gay and to one extent or another have an uneasy peace with that. The story doesn’t focus on self-acceptance, then, but more about how the secret gay relationship between the two leads clashes with the community’s religious values. Facinating and moving.
Prayers for Bobby (originally for TV, no rating)
Bobby Griffith was his mother’s favorite son, the perfect all-American boy growing up under deeply religious influences in Walnut Creek, California. Bobby was also gay. Struggling with a conflict no one knew of much less understood Bobby finally came out to his family. Despite the tentative support of his father, two sisters, and older brother, Bobby’s mother, Mary, turned to the fundamentalist teachings of her church to rescue her son from what she felt was an irredeemable sin. As Mary came closer to the realization that Bobby could not be “healed,” she rejected him, denying him a mother’s unconditional love, and driving her favorite son to suicide.
Anguished over Bobby’s death, Mary finds little solace in her son’s poignant diaries, revelations of a troubled boy fighting for the love of his mother and God. Finding it difficult to reconcile her feelings of guilt, her conflicted emotions over religious teachings, and her struggles with understanding her son’s orientation, Mary finally, and unexpectedly, reaches out to the gay community as a source of inspiration and consolation. For Mary Griffith, it’s the beginning of a long and emotional journey that extended beyond acceptance to her viable role a vocal advocate for gay and lesbian youth. In 1996, twelve years after Bobby’s death, she was invited to address the Congress of the United States, establishing her as a major force in the fight for human rights.
A sad but uplifting film, based on a true story. The film is really about Bobby’s mother, Mary Griffith, as she learns to accept her son’s sexuality after his death, reconciling this with her religious views. A must-see for anyone who’s struggling to find harmony between their sexuality and Christianity, and recommended to everyone.
Released in cinemas on on January 23, from the acclaimed director Gus Van Sant comes the powerful and inspiring story of the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in America, Harvey Milk. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all. His life changed history, and his courage changed lives.
An Inspiring film about a courageous man’s fight for gay rights. Harvey Milk, an American politician, is beautifully played by actor, Sean Penn, in this moving (yes, I cried) film about his later life. An uplifting history lesson.