In this here Month of Pride I’ve got the perfect excuse to talk about some incredible films that otherwise might not get a mention across WhatCulture. For a lot of reasons, Queer films often struggle to make it into the mainstream - and those that do make it will never be quite as popular or appreciated as the more typical cinema-fodder we all know so well.
The fact that we all have our own individual experiences of gender and sexuality means that, by nature, it’s nigh on impossible to ever determine the EXACT most powerful moments ever. What is incredibly powerful to me might not be for the next person, because we’ve experienced our Queerness differently.
However, there are plenty of moments out there that are agreed amongst the Queer community to be super important, and will be placed by many atop their lists of ‘most important cinema moments ever.’ Using this and my own (of course always expert) opinion, this list has been assembled to recommend to the uninitiated and remind the knowledgeable of some of the most vital and impactful moments in Queer cinema history.
Happy Pride Month everyone! Let’s get cracking…
9. Pride - Cliff Comes Out
It’s an incredibly simple and understated scene in which Cliff makes the life-altering decision to come out for what we know as the first time. Sitting aside his friend and fellow strike supporter, Hefina, Cliff prepares sandwiches in silence.
After being corrected on his cutting style he pauses for a moment before saying, quietly and very measured, “I’m gay,” before continuing to cut his bread diagonally - eyes fixed downward.
The shot is fixed, still, staring at the two friends as Hefina then pauses. She takes a moment to think, her face barely betraying her feelings, before a warmth takes her voice and she looks to him to simply say, “I know.”
The interaction that follows is so full of acceptance and respect that it doesn’t need anything bombastic to make it memorable. Cliff’s shocked face, Hefina’s slight reassuring smile pulling at the corners of her mouth - it’s a special moment between two friends in which Cliff is for the first time able to feel completely safe in his true identity.
Thanks to the coming together of two wildly different communities, he is given the freedom to accept and express who he is - and it is natural as anything. It may be brief and minimal, but it’s a scene that surely has caused many a viewer to shed a tear.