Friday, November 18th, 2022

Queerguru’s TOP PICKS OF MUST SEE MOVIES @ image-nation LGBT2SQ+ film festival


So Queeguru is leaving the wintery climes of Massachusetts today to head North to the even lower temperatures of Montreal. But nevertheless, we are very excited.  Our destination is Montreal and to image+nation, Canada’s premiere LGBT2SQ+ film festival which is celebrating its 35th Edition  BUT this will be our first time……  and it’s a long time since any of the Queerguru Team have been virgins!

image+nation35 offers something for everyone and every cinematic taste. In addition to image+nation signature event Queerment Québec (held annually at Centre PHI), programming includes the thematics: Voix autochtones / Indigiqueer, amplifying 2Spirit and Indigenous queer voices, including the Opening Film, ROSIE; Made au Canada, highlighting the best national queer cinema; Focus France, to promote and encourage francophone queer voices on a world stage; R/evolution: the Vanguard, documenting our queer elders and the paths they forged; First Voices, powerful representations of queerness from countries like Kazakhstan, Poland and Pakistan (the country’s Oscar entry, Joyland), Iran and Ukraine.

This is also a hybrid festival so as well as in-person screenings most of the movies will also be streaming ONLINE for anyone anywhere in the Quebec area. 

We’ve already been through the very diverse program to come up with 



COP SECRET:  It is obvious that the Icelandic director (Hannes Halldórsson) and the two main stars (Egill EinarssonAuðunn Blöndal) who also were co-writers, are huge fans of the action movie genre. The biggest source of fun in the satire Cop Secret is to play action movie Bingo as all of the tropes of Hollywood’s biggest cash cow are meticulously played out. While the satire is comprehensive rather than comic, this movie makes a virtue out of checking all the boxes. If you want the predictable familiarity of an action movie but with the benefit of a gay twist between the two hot heroes, then settle in with your bingo card and play along. Is there a Hollywood happy ending? You can bet your Hollywood ass.  AH.




El Houb (The Love) is a tense family melodrama set within the Dutch-Moroccan community in Holland. Successful young businessman Karim (Fahd Larhzaoui) and his Ghanian boyfriend Kofi (Emmanuel Boafo) are in a state of undress at Karim’s smart apartment when Karim’s father Abbas (Slimane Dazi), a postman, delivers a package and sees Karim in Kofi’s bed. Karim’s conservative, religious, family don’t know that he is gay and his father’s sight prompts Karim to decide to come out to them.

The film shows that, however tough it may seem at times, there can be an alternative to suffering in silence within a family. A genuine love story, in all senses of the word. Highly recommended.




Queerguru’s Janet Prolman raved about ESTHER NEWTON MADE ME GAY a new film by Jean Carlomusto. This portrait of Esther Newton unveils a living, breathing human being, masculine of center, femme-loving, dog-loving, brilliant and articulate woman who is now over 80 and participated fully in the screenings and events. Esther’s family, poodles, and former and current girlfriends add richness to the texture, so much so that her partner, Holly Hughes, when asked about what it was like to be involved in a film about her real life, quipped, “At some point I had to ask how many more exes we were going to excavate.” If you aren’t familiar with Esther Newton, you should be. Regardless of what stripe of the rainbow flag you represent, Esther is an essential part of your history.  




Girl Picture throws a bucket of emotions into the air and seems them beautifully land a la Jackson Pollock on a canvas of Finnish adolescent sexuality. Alli Haapasalo’s film is the story of three young women coming of age captured on three separate Fridays. Each of the young women is trying to resolve an inner conflict. Ronnko (Eleonoora Kauhanen) is desperate to connect to her sexuality, which, while definitely heterosexual has yet to find practical satisfaction. Emma  (Linnea Leino) is an aspiring figure skating champion who finds that the discipline of competition is overwhelming her sense of self. Mimmi (Aamu Milinoff) is feeling angry, displaced and abandoned as her mother starts to build a new family. AH.





In From The Side is a rare genre of queer movies.  It’s a love story set in a gay rugby club.   Brit filmmaker Matt Carter’s story is about winning and losing …… on the rugby field and in the bedroom, and it is an enchanting compelling tale that will have you transfixed until the ‘final score” 

What did surprise us was that not only is this Carter’s debut feature film but as well as directing and co-writing, he also edited, produced, composed the soundtrack, and was also the cinematographer.

As a gay man, I managed to avoid team sports at school so seeing the passion that these men invest in such a potentially dangerous game is beyond me,  but I could relate to the close-knit camaraderie both on and off the field.



Nelly and Nadine is the unlikely love story between two women falling in love on Christmas Eve, 1944  The film captured me from the beginning;  a sequence of a newsreel from April 28th, 1945 shot at Malmö Harbor, Sweden,  in which a large group of women reaches freedom after German concentration camps. We see them smile and say hello to the camera, there is Nadine with her white scarf, striped uniform, and that mysterious gaze.

The film has been made with exquisite delicacy to tell a story of survival in the 20th Century.  It is also a tale of profound love and intimacy that portrays moments in Nelly & Nadine´s apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, and Sylvie´s home, a place sweeter than home in the French countryside. Magnus Gertten, the director, invites us to a rendezvous as in a family talking about people we know and love deeply. 




Queerguru’s Ris Fatah reviewed ‘PETIT MAL’ an interesting study of both queer throuple and long-distance relationships. There are three stages to a romantic relationship. Stage one is where you avoid farting in front of each other. Stage two is when you don’t mind farting in front of each other and stage three is when you fart in front of each other on purpose! The lesbian throuple in director Ruth Caudeli’s latest film, Petit Mal, are definitely at stage three of their relationship.




Queerguru’s David Lagachu reviewed PRIVATE DESERT a Brazilian queer drama that is about hopelessness and hope at the same time. The film opens with the protagonist Daniel (Antonio Saboia), a police officer, jogging in the middle of the night. The scene immediately highlights a sense of him running away from himself and the almost palpable loneliness. In the first half an hour of the film, the strong bond between Daniel and his ex-police officer father hogs the limelight as they go about their daily lives. Daniel shares a buddy-like relationship with his father in which the former can crack a willy joke without any cognizance of discomfort. Alas, everything is not hunky-dory. Daniel is facing trial for roughing up a new recruit during police training. He spends most of his time chatting with a girl (Sara) online as a means to stave off facing the music of his reckless actions. Taking constant care of his old and feeble father Daniel realizes that life is short and he should follow his heart; wherever it takes him. The film picks up pace when Sara, his heart’s desire, stops responding to Daniel’s texts and voicemails, and he decides to go seek her out in her hometown.




Rosie is a warm-hearted Canadian tale about love in chosen families. Set in 1980s Montreal, Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is a young orphaned child who, following her mother’s death, is sent to live with her only known relative, artist Aunt Frederique (Melanie Bray). Frederique, however, lives a very chaotic, hand-to-mouth existence and can barely look after herself, let alone anyone else. Frederique also doesn’t want the responsibility of looking after the feisty Rosie but reluctantly takes her in to avoid Rosie going into state care. Shortly afterward, Frederique loses her job and also gets evicted from her apartment and the two lost souls embark on a journey of survival. 




(The Blue Caftan) is director Maryam Touzani’s beautifully poetic drama about the relationship between a closeted Moroccan tailor, Halim, (Saleh Bakri), his dying wife Mina (Lubna Azabal), and their gay male apprentice Youssef (Ayoub Missioui). Beautifully shot and lit by cinematographer Virginie Surdej, with excellent, very tender, performances by the three main actors, Touzani’s intimate, authentic film is paced to reflect the slow-burn of the lives and relationships she is exploring. Her film is a great close-up study of the combinations of despondency, laughter, grief and joy life can entail. BEG, STEAL OR BORROW TO GET A TICKET FOR THIS ONE!



image-nation Fest  will begin on 11/17 and end on
11/27 To see the whole program and book tickets 
check out https://www.image-nation.org/


for full reviews on over 1500 queer films check out 
www.queerguru.com and whilst you are there be sure to 
subscribe to get all the latest raves and rants on queer cinema  
...best of all its FREE

Posted by queerguru  at  15:51


Follow queerguru

Search This Blog

View queertiques By: