Pride on Film: Girl Power

Check out our favorite lesbian themed movies

Click on the title to see the film’s  trailer if available.

Bound (1996)
Bound is a 1996 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by the Wachowskis. Violet (Jennifer Tilly), who longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), enters into a clandestine affair with alluring ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon), and the two women hatch a scheme to steal $2 million of mafia money.

Bound was the first film directed by the Wachowskis, and they took inspiration from Billy Wilder to tell a noir story filled with sex and violence. Financed by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was made on a tight budget with the help of frugal crew members including cinematographer Bill Pope. The directors initially struggled to cast the lesbian characters of Violet and Corky before securing Tilly and Gershon. To choreograph the sex scenes, the directors employed ‘sex educator’ Susie Bright, who has a bit part in the film.

Bound received positive reviews from film critics who praised the humor and style of the directors as well as the realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship in a mainstream film. Detractors of the film criticized the excessive violence and superficiality of the plot. The film won several festival awards. Summary By Wikipedia

StudLife (2012)

JJ a lesbian and Seb a gay man are best friends – they work together and play together. Then JJ falls for Elle and has to split her attention between them both? Mates b4 muff? What would you do?

Stud Life is a light take on the darker side of queer street life in London directed and written by CampbellX and produced by Nadya Kassam and Stella Nwimo. The film is a post-modern LGBT She´s Gotta Have It for the YouTube generation. Stud Life deals with sex and sexuality and taboo subjects in the queer community.

Stud Life takes the viewer into a slice of life of an urban gay scene where casual sex, and drug taking is not treated as deviant behavior. Where gender is up for grabs but desire follows very strict rules. Where violence can be part of sex as well as random attacks on the street. JJ and Seb inhabit a world where white queers are familiar with Black street culture and reject the mainstream “G.A.Y” world. This is Stud Life.

“Family” (2008)

“Family” is a coming of age dramedy centering on the lives of a group of lesbian friends who all experience continual strife in their personal and professional lives as a result of being closeted. Some of the women must deny and reject the women they love while others struggle with the suffocating confines of closeted ness for the sake of their careers.  When the strain becomes too great the women forge a pact to come out together within thirty days in every significant relationship and situation in their life.

Set It Off (1996)

Set It Off is a 1996 action-crime-thriller film directed by F. Gary Gray, and stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise (in her theatrical debut), as four close friends in Los Angeles, California who decide to plan and execute a bank robbery. They decide to do so for different reasons, although all four want better for themselves and their families. Summary By Wikipedia

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Boys Don’t Cry is a 1999 American independent romantic drama film directed by Kimberly Peirce and co-written by Andy Bienen. The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teena, a biologically born female who identified as a man and as intersexed, played by Hilary Swank, who pursues a relationship with a young woman, played by Chloë Sevigny. Teena is beaten, raped and murdered by his male acquaintances after they discover he is female. The picture explores the themes of freedom, courage, identity and empowerment.

After reading about the murder of Brandon Teena while in college, Peirce intently researched the case—as well as Teena’s life—and worked on a screenplay for the film for almost five years. All She Wanted, the 1993 book about the case written by Aphrodite Jones, inspired Peirce, but she chose to focus the story on the relationship between Teena and his girlfriend Lana Tisdel. Many actors campaigned for the lead over the course of three years; a then unknown Swank was cast because her personality seemed similar to Teena’s. The majority of characters were based on real-life people, while some were composites. Summary By Wikipedia

Pariah (2011)
A rousing success at its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, this deeply felt human drama is the feature debut of writer/director Dee Rees. Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced “ah-lee-kay”), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. A gifted student, Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the support of her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), she is especially eager to find a girlfriend. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity.

Julie Johnson (2001)

Julie Johnson is a bored New Jersey housewife who is unhappy with her life and decides to take a computer class at a local college. When her husband finds out and is unsupportive and verbally abusive, she decides that enough is enough and the couple separate. Inspired, her friend Claire leaves her husband, and, having nowhere to go, moves in with Julie and her son and daughter. Living together, Julie and Claire develop a relationship that is more than just a friendship. Problems arise when Julie, immersed in studies, makes new, scholarly, cultured friends and Claire doesn’t mesh well with them. Summary By Wikipedia

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

The Watermelon Woman is a 1996 feature film by filmmaker Cheryl Dunye about Cheryl, a young black lesbian working a day job in a video store while trying to make a film about a black actress from the 1930s known for playing the stereotypical “mammy” roles relegated to black actresses during the period. It was the first feature film directed by a black lesbian. Summary By Wikipedia

Frida (2002)

Frida is a 2002 biographical film which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salma Heyek in her Academy Award nominated portrayal as Kahlo and Alfred Molina as her husband, Diego Rivera.

The movie was adapted by Clancy Sigal, Diane Lake, Gregory Nava, Anna Thomas and Edward Norton (uncredited) from the book Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera. It was directed by Julie Taymor. It won Oscars for Best Makeup and Best Original Music Score (recipient: Elliot Goldenthal). Summary By Wikipedia

The Lies We Tell, Truth We Keep (2011)

A gripping urban film about two women with different lifestyles who fall in love yet become caught up in a dangerous love triangle where lies, deceit and infidelity emerge to destroy the foundation if their relationship.

Other notable Girl Power Movies click on the title to see the film’s trailer

A Marine Story (2010)

Amazon Women (2010)

And Then Came Lolla (2009)

Bad Girls (1994)

black./womyn: Conversations with lesbians of African descent (2010)

Better Than Chocolate (1999)

Boys On The Side (1995)

Bye Bi Love (2010)

A Drag King Extravaganza (2008)

Elena Undone (2010)

The Fish Child (2009)

Floored By Love (2005)

Genderblind (2010)

Gia (1998)

Girls Like Us Season One (2012)

The Gymnast (2006)

Hardcore (2004)

Hanna Free (2009)

The House Guest (2011)

If I Wuz Yo Gyrl (2001)

If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000)

Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007)

The Journey (2006)

Kiss Me (2011)

The L Word (2004)

Lovers & Friends (2008)

Loving Anabelle (2006)

Mobile Homecoming (ongoing)

Money Matters (2011)

Monster (2003)

Mosquita y Mari (2012)

Personal Best (1982)

Poison Ivy (1992)

Stranger Inside (2001)

T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues DIvas of the 1920’s (2011)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Tom Boy (2011)

Tracks (2009)

Wild Things (1998)

Women of Brewsters Place (1989)