Sunday, November 21st, 2021

Queergurus picks of THE MUST SEE FILMS @ image+nation34 Queer Film Fest


image+nation34 Canada’s first Queer film festival marks its 34 years of sharing queer stories  on November 22, 23, 24 & 27.  This year’s event features in-person screenings PLUS the whole program is available to stream online throughout the whole of Quebec. As usual, the Fest includes the new best queer cinema both international and  local and the diverse schedule covers most of the LGBTQ+ spectrum

Being Bebe : Newbie filmmaker EMILY BRANHAM took a shine to BeBe aka MARSHALL NGWA back in 2006 before the world came to know about him.  Then the tall good-looking man from Cameron in West Africa was living in Minneapolis  Minnesota and doing amateur drag in a local gay bar. Even then he stood out as his costumes and performances were heavily immersed and inspired by his African Culture. After Bebe was the first-ever winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race she had a roller coaster life of rags to riches and back again which she shares with disarming honesty that makes this doc so compelling and such a sheer joy to watch



(P.S. you may also like to check out Queerguru’s interview with the Star, the Director and the Producer https://www.queerguru.com/talking-about-being-bebe/  )


BEYTO: Talented swimmer, motivated apprentice, cool buddy: Beyto is in the midst of life. But when the only son of a Turkish migrant family falls in love with his coach Mike, an ideal world falls to pieces. His parents only see one way out: They lure him to their home village and plan his wedding with Seher, his childhood friend. Suddenly, Beyto finds himself in a disruptive love triangle. This multicultural story about love and emancipation  by Gitta Gsell is a rare LGBTQ film from Switzerland



A Distant Place, the debut feature film from Korean filmmaker Kuo-Young Park, and is a remarkable finely nuanced tale that evolved into such an exquisite film as beautiful as the stunning rural setting.  It is the first Korean queer film that I have ever seen and I have to confess although I was unsure what to expect ….. this was certainly not it A Distant Place is the story of Jin-Woo (Kang Gil-woo) who lives and works as a farmhand in a remote sheep ranch in the highlands of South Korea very near the border with North Korea. Park who also wrote the script feeds us details sparingly, so it takes us time to work out the setup at Mr, Kim’s ranch.



DOWN IN PARIS : It is impossible to overlook the influence of Federico Fellini’s  in Antony Hickling’s Down in Paris, especially in the surreal bits of the film when reality and illusion collide to make way for a dazzling humane effect. A middle-aged film director wandering about in a glamourous city looking for inspiration and facing his demons head-on is a cinematic trope that never betrays if done in the right manner. Hickling who directs and stars as the troubled English filmmaker Richard, shooting his fifth film in Paris, puts himself under the spotlight by questioning the essence of an artist. The setting is Paris, a city where cinema is celebrated in all its glory and the story benefits a lot from it. France as a country knows how to respect films and its film directors. Every nook and corner of Paris tells a story and it feels like Hickling is operating in familiar territory. 



FIREBIRD is an enormously satisfying and complete film, and it has been playing at every single queer film fest we have covered this year.  It tells a full tale of life, and love, and loss from its beginning right up to an end that could never need or want a sequel.  PEETER REBANE‘s story of two Soviet military recruits, a pilot officer and a private, falling in love on a military base during the 70s cold war, is based on a true story. Skeptical as we are about stories ‘based on’ truth, people’s ages and weights on dating profiles might make that same claim, there is an undeniably human element to this story that grips the heart and mind with a sense of both individuality and history



(P.S. you may also like to check out Queerguru’s interview with the Writer/ Director and his Co-Writer/Star https://www.queerguru.com/peteer-rebane-tom-prior-talk-about-their-estonian-queer-romance-firebird/ )


MARSCAPONE : The opening scenes of this delectable new Italian queer dramedy is set to send shivers down the backs of quite a few gay men in long-term relationships. A rather oblivious Antonio is abruptly told by his long-time husband Lorenzo that their marriage is over as he has fallen in love with someone else. 

Kudos to the co-directors for their intelligent take on urban queer love and life.  Also for ensembling such a talented (and very handsome) cast to live it out so authentically, and proving that we all need some drama in our lives,




POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA  ; This excellent autobiographical tale of his journey from Russia as a young gay immigrant is the perfect choice for the opening night gala.  Maybe a tad patchy in parts but it’s a joyous wee film with some wonderful surprises like an adorable Jonathan Bennett as Jesus and an almost unrecognizable Lea Delaria giving a scene-stealing performance.



(P.S. You may also like to check out our interview with the  filmmaker https://www.queerguru.com/wes-hurley-talks-potato-dreams-of-america


SWAN SONG.  Veteran queer actor UDO KIER gives the performance of a lifetime in  TODD STEPHEN’S delicious camp comedy. This is Stephen’s adaption of the story of Pat Pitsenberger …….known to everyone as Mr. Pat ….. an elderly outrageously camp hairdresser who catered to the whims of town’s snobby socialites in his day.  Now financially broke after being swindled out of inheriting the house he had shared with his late-life partner, Mr. Pat, is stuck in a miserable Assisted Living Facility surrounded by very old ……. and very straight …. people just sitting around waiting to die. 

IF Kier is not nominated for an Academy Award for this then we will know that there is no real justice in the world !



PS Queerguru talks with Todd Stephens and his Producer https://www.queerguru.com/todd-stephens-eric-eisenbrey-on-the-joy-of-working-with-veteran-queer-star-udo-kier/


THE SWIMMER : Erez, a talented young Israeli swimmer, is one of five swimmers selected for a special residential training camp. The swimmers are in competition with each other and the winner will be chosen to join the Israeli Olympic swimming team. Erez (Omer Perelmanmeets the beautiful, muscular Nevo (Asaf Jonas), a fellow swimmer at the camp, who slowly awakens subconscious homosexual desires in Erez. However, they both have girlfriends and also have a tough Russian swimming coach (Dima) who does not want the competitors to have friendships with each other. Dima warns Erez to stay away from Nevo, but Erez can’t help himself. Erez and Nevo hang out together at the camp when not training and Erez clumsily attempts to act upon his feelings…




YES I AM : THE RIC WEILAND STORY We all need heroes and role models. Especially in the LGBTQ community. Most of the ones we have are very colorful and loud. However, there are some like RIK WEILAND who are far from that. Yet this very quiet private man, who sadly took his own life in 2006, is probably the most important queer activist and philanthropist of his generation. Thanks to Aaron Bear’s new film we hope Weiland’s name and memory will be recognized for who he truly was.



(P.S. We were so fortunate to be able to track down the filmmaker and film this interview with him https://www.queerguru.com/aaron-bear-talks-about-yes-i-am-the-ric-weiland-story/)



For the full program and how to book tickets check 
http://www.image-nation.org/queer movies 
 To read the full reviews of these and over 1500 other 
queer movies go to  https://www.queerguru.com and whilst you are there 
be sure  to subscribe to get all the latest raves and rants 
on queer cinema..... even better IT's FREE

Posted by queerguru  at  16:57




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow queerguru

Search This Blog

View queertiques By: