movie discussion series
We are so excited to launch our first ever movie club series: Contemporary Queer Migrations. Over the next 6 months, join us for this 6-part series as we view and discuss 13 films from across the globe that explore the complex relationship between queerness and migration, queer diasporic families, the power of queer cinema beyond LGBTQIA+ representation, and so much more.
This extended series will explore one social justice topic - in this case, queer migration - from multiple angles, drawing a clear thread from one conversation to the next. Sign up for the entire series and learn alongside a tight-knit community of socially conscious cinephiles, paired with curated readings, asynchronous discussions, and exclusive events.
These films reject both the invisibility and the anonymity of queer migrants. In the global and aesthetic diversity represented in these movies, we realize there is no huddled mass, no monolith — but dreamers of all colors fighting against multiple systems of oppression and imagining something more. You can read more about the films we're watching and sign up below!
Directed by Sanjay Rawal
Some questions from our discussion included:
1. The film makes a direct link between settler colonialism and the devastating mental health and physical health conditions of Indigenous youth and populations at large. Sammy (from the Yurok Nation) mentions that drugs are more easily bought than healthy foods. There are the mentions of high suicide rates. Diabetes is a recurring theme. As Sammy says: We are living out this genocide.
What other consequences of colonialism do we not think about or hear about very much?
How do we make sense of these connections, from the seemingly distant past to the present? What forces prevent us from thinking about these connections more critically?
2. What do you make of Twila and Clayton’s discussions on the healing and restorative nature of food, when compared with normalized, scientific approaches to nutrition?
How does science participate in the colonial project?
How does this film challenge conventionally white notions of wellness? How would you redefine “wellness” using ideas and concepts from the film?
3. Do you see the earth as property or as a gift? How does this perspective change the way in which you view the value of what you take from the earth?
If we truly focus on the Earth that will be left for our grandchildren, how might we live differently? How do we be good ancestors?
How do we live up to Sammy’s call to be a part of the restorative revolution?
Some questions from our discussion included:
1. Who wields what forms of power in the film? How do these power dynamics cause the characters to fail one another?
- What social and cultural forces influence Alex’s behaviors, and lead him to act as he does towards Olivia?
- How do politics in our own lives influence who gets to love & who gets to forgive?
When there is a real power imbalance, can you have a real, full relationship?
2. How do the characters become intimate with one another? What is “home” for them?
- How do you start this process of developing intimacy with those who seem/are radically different from you?
3. Transness, as represented in the media, is often focused on when/how people disclose their gender identity. Director Isabel Sandoval doesn’t let this be the main thing in the story; she even makes her passport photo + name obscure in the film. Where does Alex’s and our society’s anxiety to “know” someone’s transness come from?
Directed by Isabel Sandoval
Some questions in our discussion guide are:
1. What are the different pathways to prison as described in the film?
Who is involved, and what kind of power dynamics perpetuate these pathways?
What are the systems and logics that allow the “prison” system to exist?
2. How do our communities unwittingly and unintentionally perpetuate systemic oppression within the prison system?
How does power work to target vulnerable communities, while allowing the worst offenders to slip through? What are instances of arbitrary versus intentional discrimination at play?
How does the prison system affect our relationships to one another?
3. What is the purpose of punishment and prisons in America?
How would you define a “criminal”? As a society, what do we think “criminals” deserve? Why?
Is it possible to disrupt the way we think about prisons and punishment? Especially when we are confronted with real instances of harm, such as with sexual abuse or physical violence, how might we reframe “criminality”?
The Prison in 12 Landscapes
Directed by Brett Story