One of the things that I love about lesbians, or women in general is resilience. The way that a woman can set out to do something amazing, and meaningful, and reach goal, and then surpass it. 2011 has been a good year for lesbian filmmakers. The way they explore relationships, and livelihood with realness, meaning, and passion. Not only did these lesbian filmmakers write these films, they also directed them. Gotta love women in control!
I picked my best of the year in lesbian cinema that explores the juiciness of our relationships, how our minds work, and how there’s always something you can identify with.
Mississippi Damned – written and directed by Tina Mabry
“Three sisters in a small Mississippi town endure cycles of family dysfunction that include alcoholism, illness and even murder in this grim social drama.”
Although the focus isn’t on lesbian relationships, it comes from the mind of a brilliant African American lesbian, and based on a true story. It’s a must see if you haven’t seen it yet.
Pariah – written and directed by Dee Rees
“Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura, Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion. Pressed by her mother into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina, Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with.”
I like this movie because it focuses on a teen who struggles with trying to define herself and her sexuality. And with all of those struggles, she finds herself, and comes into her own as a young lesbian.
Three Veils – written and directed by Rolla Selbak
“A film about three Middle Eastern women living in the US; each with their own story. One of the women, against cultural beliefs finds herself involved in a lesbian relationship.”
This film made a huge splash with the festival circuit because of its fresh, and intense storyline. But it also didn’t hurt that Sheetal Sheth stars in it as well.
Circumstance – written and directed by Maryam Keshavarz
“Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden, underground world of Iranian youth culture, where a young woman’s most electrifying passions can become the most dangerous of secrets.”
I am normally one of those people who stays clear of films with subtitles. I’ll admit it. But every now and again, there’s one that grabs my attention, and holds on to it. Circumstance does that. It’s a must see.
Elena Undone – written and directed by Nicole Conn
“Writer/Director Nicole Conn confidently tackles issues of religion, sex, family and commitment in this contemporary story about star-crossed lovers and the walls between them.”–ALEX CHOUSA
Nicole Conn is the creator of one of the earlier, most successful lesbian films, Claire of the Moon. I didn’t really connect with that film, but Elena Undone is one of my favorites! I have probably seen this film 20 times. Or more. And every time, I love it even more. This is a great relationship film, and a definite must see.
Bloomington – written and directed by Fernanda Cardoso
““Bloomington” is a coming-of-age drama about a former child actress attending college in search of independence and who ends up becoming romantically involved with a female professor. Their relationship thrives until an opportunity to return to acting forces her to make life-altering decisions.”
This is the only movie I ever purchased without seeing it first. The storyline intrigued me, and it didn’t disappoint.
TH3M! – created by Tye Green
TH3M! is actually my personal baby, so it had to make the list. TH3M! is about seven women whose interconnected lives are woven into a richly textured tapestry of friendship, sex, love and everything that happens in between.
I loved filming, and watching this series. I hope you will too!
That’s it for my favorite relationship movies of 2011. Let me know your thoughts after you’ve viewed them, or drop me a line and tell me what your favorites of the year are.
Until next time,