From heartwrenching romance, existential drama and all the way to passionate reunions, the world of lesbian movies is as diverse as it is hidden from the mainstream audience. The four movies below lack clichés and stereotypes, but they make up for it with tingly eroticism, true love and drama, because there is more to life than Orange is the New Black.
Even in the XXI. century and with the help of the World Wide Web, finding truly good lesbian movies is about as likely as finding two identical grains of sand: not at all. The lack of success is certainly not due to lack of trying, but even when truly good “rainbow themed” movies are produced the news about them have a hard time reaching our humble homeland.
I Can't Think Straight, 2009
The first “must see” lesbian movie on our list is I Can’t Think Straight (2009), a movie dealing with the taboo of being an out lesbian in a world where the mere existence of such people is still a controversial topic.
Set in Jordan, Western Asia, this romantic drama introduces us to a particular romance between two women who fight for their relationship in the face of traditions, marriage and homophobic society. The movie rightfully won several award for its masterful portrayal of the love that conquers all. No matter how many times you watch I Can’t Think Straight, you will always find something new to love about it - so go ahead and watch it with your friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, or maybe even your parents!
The Handmaiden, 2016
The Handmaiden, based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, has been receiving excellent reviews ever since the first showings, including a positive article in the New York Times.
This movie is not only packed with excitement and an attention to detail, but it’s also armed with a unique, mystical atmosphere that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The immersive imagery and camera angles transport the audience right to Japanese-occupied Korea, and almost make it seem like the viewer is part of the movie.
The Handmaiden portrays the relationship between Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) and her servant, Sookee (Kim Tae-ri) that grows from antagonism into a powerful love story. Sookee originally yearns for Lady Hideko’s wealth, but she finds something far more precious instead. Besides the dramatic scenes, the movie stays away from the dreaded porn-like lesbian sex scenes and shows the physical love between the two women in a much more realistic way. If for nothing else, The Handmaiden is worth watching only to help your soul recover from Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Colour.
Below Her Mouth, 2016
This movie is so obscure that it doesn’t even have a Hungarian title, but that shouldn’t scare you away from watching this wonderful 94-minute mix of eroticism, passion and intense love story.
Just as The Handmaiden, Below Her Mouth also breaks tradition and finds the perfect, realistic balance between a single chaste kiss and lesbian porn. The story is far from complicated: the movie portrays a love triangle between an engaged woman and the carpenter working on the neighbour’s house. The dynamic between the two is also familiar: you have the seductive butch woman and the feminine woman who has never seen a lesbian before finding love in each other - and yet, this movie is so much more than many other similar ones. You can practically feel the passion and the longing between the lovers on screen - it is recommended to watch this movie with your partner, and definitely not recommended after a breakup!
The Danish Girl, 2015
Although The Danish Girl is not a traditional lesbian movie, we cannot leave out from this list for several reasons. Firstly, it is the first major movie dealing openly with both the physical and emotional sides of transitioning, and secondly, it portrays a love story between a transgender woman and her female lover.
The movie deals with the story of one of the first transgender women to medically transition into a woman after living decades of her life as a man, including her fight for her own existence and the unwavering support of her wife from beginning to end. An exciting and gripping story that is sure to capture your thoughts long after watching it.
Are you looking for more fantastic lesbian movies? Stay tuned for updates, because we’ll soon expand the list.
Translated by Alexa Sebők