The month of June is Pride Month, which celebrates the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that put front-and-center the desire to be and love whomever, however. This is a great time to delve into the queer catalogue of films and shows that platform queer lives as they are lived. Here is a list of films and shows that you can find on Amazon Prime Video.
Winner of 3 Academy Awards including Best Picture, director Barry Jenkins crafts with his characteristic deft, tender framing the coming-of-age of Chiron in Miami at the height of the crack epidemic — from a child to an adolescent to an adult. Each phase, leavened by his mother’s addiction and the overt pressures of the racist, masculine system, is propped by a visual intimacy and immediacy; the frames stay with you. The two scenes on the beach — one of being propped up by a paternal figure on the salty afternoon waters, and the other sealing the indigo night with a tense kiss — have such visual and emotional potency, they refuse traditional labels of representation by being so specific in intention and articulation.
5 seasons strong, the show revolves around a Jewish family in LA, and their lives following the discovery that their parent (Jeffrey Tambor) is a trans woman named Maura. The first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award, the show won the Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy’ at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards. Its rich, textured humour, and kind, cutting characters lend the relatable despairing themes of disappointment and a marriage on the brink, a lively tone of hope and heart.
My Brother Nikhil (2005)
Helmed by Onir, this film is based on the life of Dominic d’Souza, the first recorded person living with HIV in Goa in 1989 — “patient zero.” d’Souza’s role is played by Sanjay Suri, who brings to the character a relatable, aspirational kindness and beauty. The film spotlights the initial ignorance that festered into prejudice and later violence.
Uncle Frank (2020)
Set in the 1970s, Uncle Frank is a comedy-drama road movie about a closeted gay man who is forced to confront his past. The film shuttles between Frank’s (Paul Bettany) life in New York, loving and living with Wally (Peter Macdissi), an immigrant from Saudi Arabia, and his small-town where he is an outcast. The narrator of the story Beth (Sophia Lillis) finds courage and communion in him as she is trying to navigate the tricky waters of teenage rebellion. Set before the AIDS crisis swept up NYC, this film instead focuses on the emotional momentum of the gay identity, before its association with disease and the American indifference to loss of lives.
Based on the 1952 romance novel The Prince Of Salt, republished in 1990 as Carol, the namesake film directed by Todd Haynes is a landmark moment in the queer mainstream cannon. Cate Blanchette and Rooney Mara play characters who fall in love in 1950s New York. Lushly lit in deep reds, this tale of courting, and loving across barriers of gender has the shadow of tragedy following it, even as it charts the ecstasies of forbidden love. Keep your eyes out for the scene in the restaurant where, sitting opposite one another, they exude an erotic desire to just be together- all else be damned.
The film premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Queer Palm and Mara tied with Emmanuelle Bercot for the Best Actress award.
Recommendations in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video