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Queer 80s: Cinema on the Brink of Global Change is this summer’s Barbican Pride Season presentation. During the 1980s, Queer filmmakers across the globe seized their cameras and presented unapologetic, provocative depictions of LGBTQ+ people on the big screen. 

Ashik Kerib at Barbican Queer Cinema 80s
Ashik Kerib (image supplied)

Ashik Kerib (Soviet Union 1988) + introduction by Michael Brooke – Tue 16 June

The world was on the edge of transformation as borders were about to shift. Three of the films in the Queer 80s cinema season originate from countries that no longer existed after 1991. The fight to end Apartheid in South Africa persisted while archaic laws regarding homosexuality were being revoked. And even while these changes were taking place, the AIDS crisis was used as an excuse for a terrible surge in homophobia.

Tongues United queer cinema at the Barbican
Tongues United (image supplied)

Tongues Untied (US 1989) + introduction by Rikki Beadle-Blair and live poetry  Thu 13 June

Beautiful Mystery at Barbican Queer 80s cinema
Beautiful Mystery (image supplied)

Beautiful Mystery (Japan 1983) + introduction by Tony Rayns – Thu 6 June

The Barbican’s Cinema Curator, Alex Davidson, told QX, “With films from the last years of the Brazilian dictatorship, South African Apartheid and the former countries of the Soviet Union and East & West Germany, these remarkable films, including a wild and wonderful take on Virginia’s Woolf’s Orlando, a gorgeous Azerbaijani folk tale by a filmmaker jailed for his sexuality, an outrageous, gay, erotic satire from Japan, and Almodóvar’s cunning gender play in Law of Desire is emblematic of a world on the brink of massive change.” 

Many of the films in this queer cinema season are hardly ever seen in the UK.

Queer 80s Cinema On The Brink Of Global Change

Quest For Love (image supplied)

Quest for Love (South Africa 1988) + introduction by Tara Brown – Sat 22 June

Coming Out queer cinema at The Barbican
Coming Out (image supplied)

Coming Out (East Germany 1989) + ScreenTalk with actor Dirk Kummer Wed 26 June

Avskedet (1982) Filmografinr 1983/06 (image supplied)
Freak Orlando queer cinema
Freak Orlando (image supplied)

Freak Orlando (West Germany 1981) + ScreenTalk with Ulrike Ottinger Wed 5 June

Beyond Gravity at Barbican queer cinema
Beyond Gravity (image supplied)

Beyond Gravity (New Zealand 1988) + other Gay Shorts from New Zealand + introduction by Daniel Theophanous – Sat 8 June

Era Vermelho Seu Batom, Brazil 1983, Dir Henrique Magalhães (image supplied)

Radical Defiance: Queer Brazilian Super-8 Shorts 1982-3 + introduction Wed 12 June



What’s on this week