American movies and TV are making major strides in LGBTQ representation, but storytellers abroad are in many ways ahead of the curve, exploring sexuality and relationships with groundbreaking technique, and in ways often coded and ahead of their time.
From Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Pier Paolo Pasolini, the fluidity of human sexuality has long fascinated international filmmakers unafraid to bust taboos. More recently, a director like Céline Sciamma constructed a bracing picture of an intimate female relationship with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” though looking back at her career, she’s long explored the nuances of female sexuality.
From the 20th Century up until just this past year with Sweden’s Best International Feature Oscar submission “And Then We Danced,” below is a sampling of some of the best international LGBTQ cinema out there — including alternative entries from popular filmmakers you may have missed.
Jude Dry contributed to this story.