lgbt black films

Moonlight and Racism

So, I decided to read some comments on different articles for Moonlight, which I instantly regretted because people are shitty. 

But there were comments that caught my attention. There were lot of people (who identified as gay, or black or POC, or whatever) who simply couldn’t understand, or relate to the story at all, and believed that it detracted from the overall film. 

But, that’s kind of the point of Moonlight. 

One of the things I loved about Moonlight was how it handled race as well as sexuality. If you’ve seen it, you know it has an all black cast. So, there isn’t a white (or nonblack) character around for audiences to project onto. And because all of these people are of the same race and live in the same conditions, they don’t need to translate any part of their experience for one another. The characters are black people living in an impoverished neighborhood in the American south (Miami Florida). Drugs are a natural part of the environment, and for many people it’s the only way they can make a living, because business in America don’t want to invest or place high end jobs in black neighborhoods. The people use AAVE without stopping to translate it for anyone. There are after school activities for kids to go to so they don’t get into trouble. Many kids spend time at home while their parents are away working. Hell, I remember taking a bubble bath with dish detergent.   There is the rough language that black boys constantly use (even when they’re with their friends) to make themselves to seem bigger, tougher and stronger. There is a run down feel to everyone in this movie (from Juan to Chiron to Teresa) and this comes from over work, constantly worrying about dangers in your neighborhood, and looking over your shoulder for cops or gangsters. The same run down feeling is shown in the setting as well. It’s obvious this town is in a constant state of construction (take the old house Lil’ hid in at the beginning of the film).  

And then add this with the main character’s sexuality, and how he (and the movie) navigate that. Despite Chiron’s sexuality, his experiences are strictly structured through an African-American lens. He doesn’t stop being black just because he’s learning about his sexuality. He doesn’t stop using AAVE just because he’s attracted to a man. He doesn’t stop going through the world as a black man, conditioned to be hyper masculine in a poor town just because he falls in love with Kevin. This film makes no apologies for its blackness. And the racism it deals with? It’s subtle and systematic.. 

When people think of racism in the movie, they think of something that’s easily recognizable (think slave movies, white people with whips, or segregation signs). But what’s interesting about Moonlight is that the racism these people deal with (the town that’s in constant construction, the drugs on the streets,) are all real aspects of systematic racism that black people have to live under. It’s not an easily identifiable constant that can be punched out, or reasoned with. It’s in the fabric of Black American life, and most people miss it unless you’ve lived under it.  And let’s be real, many white people (white gays included) wouldn’t pick up on it. 

And it’s so funny that people in the black community believe that once you come out as gay, suddenly you’re no longer black. It’s like…no. Our skin color’s still the same. We still lived under the same racial conditions that ya’ll lived under. We still dealt with the same white washed history, and have the same distrust of the American legal system. And with white gays, a lot of them expect us to stop being Black when we come out. We’re supposed to somehow shun our Black heritage (or at least downplay it) when we enter LGBT spaces. We’re not supposed to talk about race in the LGBT community because “We’re all gay!!!! Race doesn’t matter!!!!!!” Or we’re not supposed to question why so many white gays have no problem saying “I’m not into black guys.” And when we do interrogate them further on it, all they can say is “It’s just a preference” and expect that to be the end of it.

So yeah. This movie is beautifully authentic, and I love it for that reason. 

Great lesbian TV show and film recommendations

Great lesbian films:

-          Imagine Me & You (2005, British)

-          Loving Annabelle (2006, American)

-          My Summer of Love (2004, British)

-          Black Swan (2010, American)

-          The Kids Are All Right (2010, American)

-          I Can’t Think Straight (2008, British)

-          Jenny’s Wedding (2015, American)

-          Lost And Delirious (2001, American)

-          Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013, French)

-          The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (2010, British)

-          Carol (2015, American)

-          The Night Watch (2011, British)

-          Fingersmith (2005, British)

-          But I’m A Cheerleader (1999, American)

-          Tipping the Velvet (2002, British)

-          Gia (1998, American)

Great lesbian tv-shows:

-          The Fosters (2013-present, American)

-          Orphan Black (2013-present, Canadian)

-          Orange Is The New Black (2013-present, American)

-          The 100 (2014-present, American) (season 2 onwards)

-          Sugar Rush (2005-2006, British)

-          Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present, American) (season 5 onwards)

-          Glee (2009-2015, American) (season 3 onwards)

-          The L Word (2004-2009, American) 

-          Lip Service (2010-2012, British)

-          Skins (2007-2013, British) (seasons 3 & 4)

-          South of Nowhere (2005-2008, American) 

-          Sense8 (2015-present, American) 

-          Wynonna Earp (2016-present, American/Canadian)

-          Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017, American) 

-          Last Tango In Halifax (2012-present, British)

-          Banana (2015, British)

-          Faking It (2014-2016, American)

-          Bomb Girls (2012-2013, Canadian)

- Black Mirror (2014-present, British, S3E4)
youtube

this was a really cute black queer short film.

also it was just very real and had no contrived storyline or character elements or anything.  just regular interactions. it’s like 20 min and i highly recommend to other folks who share the same identity intersections.

Moonlight and the Limitation of Masculinity

Going over Moonlight (2016) again, I’ve noticed Barry Jenkins recurring theme of showcasing Chiron’s (and Kevin’s) backs. In each act (from Lil, to Chiron, to Black) the has a long shot of the subject’s back. (Long Post under the cut)

Keep reading

Call to action - Storytellers.

Right now, children are growing up in a world where global leaders and growing movements are promoting hate. Where you can be a misogynist, a racist, a xenophobe and a homophobe and end up in the most powerful position on this planet.

The result of yesterday’s vote sends all the wrong messages. It teaches young people that if you are different, that if you do not conform to social norms, you are not valid. Your voice will not be heard.

The media have undoubtedly played a large role in this election and it can be discouraging and difficult to accept but all is not lost. Remember some of the great storytelling that has been commissioned in recent years. This work is more important now than ever. If we cannot rely on our governments to set the right examples then the media has a responsibility to do so.

Film studios, production houses, television networks: Be brave, be bold.
Independent filmmakers, artists, aspiring storytellers: Unite, collaborate. You have mobile phones with incredible cameras, you have the internet, you have a platform when others don’t. Use it.

Champion unheard voices.

Originally posted by henamedmemalala

Expose difficult truths.

Originally posted by flyguytony

Hold a mirror up to society and highlight its flaws.

Promote inclusivity and diversity, respect and kindness.

Originally posted by lavirtud

Show young women they can be strong. 

Originally posted by thepumpkinqueenn

Show young men that emotion is not weakness.

Originally posted by prxncxss88

Show that people fleeing war and poverty deserve to live in a safe and fair world, to be welcomed, not feared.

Show that everyone has a right to be who they are without shame, that love is love, that every human being is unique therefore and that being different is really the norm.

Educate by shining a light on the difficulties in our countries’ pasts.

Originally posted by muzzle84

Explain why we must never forget our history in order to learn from it. 

Originally posted by cris-accortez

Emphasise that the colour of your skin, the religion you practice, your physical health or mental health, the person you love, the person you identify yourself as, the country/body/family you were born into should never dictate your treatment by society.

Create stories where people are people instead of subject matters or tropes.

One race. Humanity. Don’t let society split it into factions and decide who is valid and who is not.

Show the world it in all of its glory and all of its shame.

Importantly: Don’t ever stop finding humour in the darkest of times(lines).

Originally posted by billieviperarchive

After all, laughter is the best medicine.

Originally posted by northgang

So keep entertaining, provide escapism for those who will need it. Create the world you want to live in, a future people can look towards and fight for.

Don’t forget to write the happy ending once in a while.

Originally posted by silent-force

6

I Killed My Mother (2009)

I watched this film while I was in the bath yesterday. The water was lukewarm at best by the time it was through, which coincidentally aligned with my feelings about the movie. It has the potential to be something deeply moving, but it lacks development in all of the places that need it the most. It was quite like sitting down to a full meal absolutely starved and  someone comes and takes away half of everything. I don’t know what I expected but until more than halfway through I just felt sorry for the mother for having a manipulative and hurtful son who passes himself off as some sort of troubled artist in order to not take responsibility for the fact that he is a brat. I guess I’m just disappointed because it could have been a comforting movie to anyone with difficult relationships with their mothers, but it wasn’t. And it could have been comforting for anyone who hasn’t come out of the closet to their parents, but it wasn’t. All of the aspects that could have made this film so much more were just sort of overlooked. Almost like you didn’t even  notice them happening. It had its moments, but that’s all they were. When it was over, I was lying in cold water, completely underwhelmed.