Conventional wisdom posits the beginning of the gay liberation movement from the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York, however this film shows just how much activism and creativity had been going on before 1969. A dazzling line-up of interviewees includes poets, writers, political organisers, dancers and actors bear witness to a life before Stonewall, including Allen Ginsberg, Audre Lorde, Barbara Gittings, Harry Hay, Ann Bannon and many more. The courage and bravery of those who dared to challenge the world has helped create the modern gay community. This is also a work of extraordinary archival research, finding footage which showed the undeniable existence of gay men and lesbians throughout the 20th century. Essential viewing for anyone who wants to get a sense of our history.
Even When I Fall
Documentary 2017 89 mins Director: Sky Neal
The inspiring and fascinating story of two child-trafficking survivors who form Nepal’s first and only circus; an ode to survival and the healing power of performance.
Nature of the Beast
Biopic 2017 96 mins Director: Daniel Draper
A suitably forthright profile of the evergreen socialist, trade unionist and Labour politician Dennis Skinner - also known as the Beast of Bolsover.
Documentary 2017 72 mins Director: Carol Salter
Carol Salter's award-winning portrait of a young Chinese woman training to become a mortician is a tender and reflective elegy on death and the fragility of life.
Battle of Soho
Documentary 2017 100 mins Director: Aro Korol
Take a journey through London's most notorious district, meeting residents and campaigners at the forefront of a battle to keep its eccentric, diverse spirit alive.
A Film Like Any Other
Documentary 1968 107 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
The first film in Jean-Luc Godard's 'radical' period finds the director rejecting established notions of narrative and authorship to present a dialectic response to the events of May '68.
Brand: A Second Coming
Documentary 2015 105 mins Director: Ondi Timoner
Russell Brand ponders his political awakening and messianic tendencies in Ondi Timoner’s perceptive and very funny documentary.
BFI Flare LGBTQ+
Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Biopic 2015 106 mins Director: Peter Greenaway
One of Britain’s most inventive filmmakers, Peter Greenaway, tackles the story of arguably the most influential filmmaker in cinema history, Sergei Eisenstein.
Drama 2011 82 mins Director: Céline Sciamma
A ten-year-old girl, settling into her new neighbourhood outside Paris, is mistaken for a boy and has to live up to this new identity since it's too late for the mistake to be clarified.
North of Vortex
Road movie 1992 55 mins Director: Constantine Giannaris
A gay poet, a bisexual sailor and a straight waitress embark on a trip through an American desert landscape in this languid, woozy road movie.
Delphinium, a Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman
Biopic 2010 13 mins Director: Matthew Mishory
Delphinium is a stylized and lyrical coming-of-age portrait of Derek Jarman’s artistic, sexual, and political awakening in post-War England.
1987 26 mins Director: Julian Cole
Ostia is a fascinating short film directed by Julian Cole and starring Derek Jarman, which reconstructs the events leading up to the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Hit So Hard
Documentary 2011 103 mins Director: P. David Ebersole
Patty Schemel, one-time drummer of grunge band Hole, recounts her turbulent years on tour with the band, piecing together a compelling tale of rock and roll excess, and the personal story of one woman’s survival.
Comedy 2008 237 mins Director: Sion Sono
Japanese cinema's enfant terrible, Sion Sono, unleashes this demented, whirlwind tale of cults, love, violence and perversion.
Comedy 1926 79 mins Silent Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's masterpiece is widely and rightly regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever made.
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Comedy 1928 71 mins Director: Charles F. Riesner
Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.
Comedy 1924 45 mins Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's superb, sophisticated silent comedy in which he dreams himself into the movie he's watching, in order to win back his girl.
A Gentle Creature
Drama 2017 143 mins Director: Sergei Loznitsa
A quietly determined woman undertakes a quest of Kafkaesque proportions as she tries to uncover the fate of her imprisoned husband, in this riveting, blackly comic masterpiece from Sergei Loznitsa (In the Fog).
Drama 1963 138 mins Director: Federico Fellini
Fellini triumphantly conjured himself out of writer's block with this magnum opus about a film director experiencing his own creative crisis.