While local rep theaters are out of commission, we'll be putting together weekly watchlists of films readily available to stream. This week's theme centers on Black LGBTQ films in solidarity and recognition of the intersection of Pride Month and the Black Lives Matter movement.
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
Adapted from legendary novelist James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, this powerful documentary explores his perspective on American history, which is tethered to memories of friends Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X—all activists who were assassinated. Though the film somewhat glosses over his gay identity, it remains an invaluable resource. Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Kanopy, Vudu, YouTube.
Shot entirely on an iPhone 5S, this slice-of-life dramedy from Sean Baker follows Sin-Dee, a Black transgender sex worker (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), as she discovers that her boyfriend-pimp (James Ransone) cheated on her while she was in jail. Along with her best friend (Mya Taylor), Sin-Dee combs the streets of L.A. on Christmas Eve to find and confront him. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube.
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Cheryl Dunye's groundbreaking romantic dramedy, the first feature in history directed by an out Black lesbian, centers on a video store worker (Dunye, playing a version of herself) as she aims to make a documentary about a Black actress from the '30s and '40s, credited only as "The Watermelon Woman." Amazon Prime, Criterion Channel, Google Play, Sling TV, Vudu, YouTube.
Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of lesbianism, Wanuri Kahiu's love story focuses on the friendship and romance between two young women living in Nairobi. The pair struggles to display their affection, since homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, but the revolutionary film ultimately offers hope and possibilities for change. Amazon Prime, Kanopy.
Hearts Beat Loud (2018)
When a white father (Nick Offerman) urges his mixed-race daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) to play music with him before she moves to the West Coast for college, their makeshift band turns out to be a viral success. Sam's music centers on her girlfriend, Rose (Sasha Lane), and the genuine tenderness between the two is portrayed wonderfully. Google Play, Hulu, Kanopy, Vudu, YouTube.