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.
- Greta Schiller
- Rita Mae BrownAudre LordeBarbara Gittings
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.
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.
Documentary 2012 103 mins Director: Rodney Ascher
Rodney Ascher's enigmatic essay film weaves together the contrasting theories of five different narrators who believe Stanley Kubrick deliberately buried hidden messages in his 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.
Documentary 2015 86 mins Director: Michael Beach Nichols
What would you do if a Nazi moved next door? This chilling documentary follows the white supremacist takeover of a tiny Dakotan town.
Drama-documentary 1996 79 mins Director: Wim Wenders
The origins of German cinema are given life in one of Wim Wenders’ most charming and playful films, focusing on pioneering inventors, the Skladanowsky brothers.
Documentary 1985 92 mins Director: Wim Wenders
Profiling one of the great directors of World Cinema, Wim Wenders delivers this moving portrait of Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu.
BFI Flare LGBTQ+
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.
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.
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.
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.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 92 mins Director: Andrew Kötting
Andrew Kötting returns with an emotionally affecting and politically resonant multi-genre adaptation of Hattie Naylor’s play.
Fantasy 1957 96 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s best-known film is a brilliant allegorical drama starring Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death.
Drama 1996 108 mins Director: Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar’s groundbreaking film follows the journey of young woman who reinvents herself as a man after she's kidnapped and attacked.
Drama 1960 179 mins Director: Luchino Visconti
Italian maestro Luchino Visconti’s epic drama follows a mother and her five sons who move from a small town to Milan, changing their lives forever.
Comedy 1973 130 mins Director: Marco Ferreri
Marco Ferreri's provocative and controversial satire about four friends who retreat to a country mansion with the intention of eating themselves to death.
Drama 1969 93 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin's radical film deconstructs both a factory strike and the Hollywood western - simultaneously.