Film Focus: FiveFilms4Freedom

If you’ve never heard of it before, FiveFilms4Freedom is a free online LGBTQ+ film festival organized by the British Council and the British Film Institute. With a launch in 2015, it is now in its fourth edition.

The following five short films are available to watch online until 1 April. I highly recommend that you do and not just because of their compelling and truly touching stories, but also due to their artistic and aesthetically authentic means of storytelling.

Here are the five films in my order of preference:

5. Goddess (India) by Karishma Dev Dube

Like any other young adult, Tara believes that her mother won’t understand her way of seeing the world and so she acts according to her own rules. Even if that means getting into fights and kissing the maid.

Tara’s story is one of misbehavior due to feeling confused, misunderstood and alone. Growing up can be challenging and solitude often is required in order to figure out what your purpose in life is. No matter what you’re going through, however, I’m sure that there is at least one person out there who truly cares about you! (aka you’re never alone!)

4. Landline (UK) by Matt Houghton

This one’s a documentary that illustrates a couple of stories as heard from the only helpline in the UK for gay farmers. Some of them charming, others somewhat disturbing.

It’s funny how we can spend decades surrounded by family members, friends and neighbors, yet still feel alone. Then one day we come across a complete stranger who reminds us that we’re not actually alone, that there are other people “like us” out there in the world. Funny how life works out sometimes.

3. Uninvited (South Korea) by Seung Yeob Lee

A mother goes to visit her son. Her son has a boyfriend. The mother, however, doesn’t know that her son is involved with someone and lives with him. So the boyfriend packs up his stuff and goes to a nearby café for the duration of the visit. What can go wrong?

Well, to keep a secret might seem like a good idea at first, but a secret from a loved one is always a heavy burden to carry. Parents may not always be right, but – under all the layers of worrying, critical remarks and constant babbling – they are caring creatures!

2. Handsome & Majestic (Canada) by Jeff Lee Petry and Nathan Drillot

This is the story of Milan. He was born to be a man in the man’s world we live in. Only he was born a woman.

To be yourself, truly yourself, is the only way to be happy. But if being yourself comes at the price of being bullied, what would you do? Should you continue being yourself and suffer the consequences, or should you change to live up to society’s expectations? A dilemma such as this one should not exist, especially in the mind of a child.

It’s about time we embraced each other’s differences and tried to understand one another more.

1. Goldfish (Greece) by Yorgos Angelopoulos

It’s a big day for Stratis. He’s getting a pet fish as a birthday present. Stratis believes his fish is gay, just like Tom Daley – the name he chooses to give it. His father, however, doesn’t react very well upon hearing it.

This little charming story is a perfect example of how important it is for parents to support their children, even if ultimately they don’t fully understand them at times. Let’s not forget that there are always going to be differences among the beliefs of the different generations.

Love, however, remains universally applicable and essential. It is, in fact, love that adds magic to the everyday moments and makes life more bearable, memorable, enjoyable and worth living. Safe to say, we can all use some magic!

Which one did you like best?

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