5 Films to See at the BFI Flare
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Flare is amazing. Seriously, how lucky are we that the best queer film from across the globe is celebrated in London for a fortnight every year? Make the most of that privilege and feast your eyeballs and eardrums on the cinematic delicacies plated up at this year's fest. We've rustled up a few top picks here, but definitely have a peruse of the BFI website as well because there's loads more awesome stuff to see.
My Days Of Mercy offers proof that absolutely every subject under the sun can be queered. This time it's the death penalty. Huh? OK, here's the breakdown: one group outside the walls of a federal prison are protesting against the barbaric punishment, another is there to support it. From these opposing tribes emerge our pair of star-crossed lovers, whose political differences cause tension in their burgeoning relationship.
Sometimes you don't know what you're capable of until you go through some real shit, and Scott Jones has been through the realest of real shit. After being subjected to a fucked up homophobic attack that left him paralysed and wheelchair-bound, the musician had to rebuild his life from the beginning. This one will be hard to watch, but harder not to - and in the end you'll feel nothing but love and respect for this brave fighter.
BFI celebrates one of it's own with this touching portrayal of one of its curators. Pieced together entirely from home video, A Deal With The Universe takes it's audience on the journey of Flare programmer Jason Barker's trans male body during pregnancy. Jason and his partner Tracey's story is sure to hit you right in the feels, so if you're looking to remind yourself of the marvel of the human spirit this Flare, look no further.
Fashion, art, nightlife and the queer scene - all of these territories have been touched and remade by Susanne Bartsch's far-reaching tendrils. The club scene curator has quietly been nurturing artistic talent since throwing her first party, Savage in New York, thirty years ago. Legendary doesn't cut it - we need a new word to describe the queen of club kids, and it's high time she was given this homage to her unique and enduring career.
We couldn't talk about Flare without including a film about growing into your queer identity among adverse circumstances. Expert in gender performance, Leo hopes to hone his skills as both a boxer and a drag queen (industrious mofo, this one), hoping one of these vocations will rescue him from his soul-destroying day job at a fish cannery. The great plan is complicated by the arrival of a sexy stranger by the name of Declan.