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Forbidden Colours

Retablo film image

Barbican Cinema
Forbidden Colours

9 Jul & 22 Oct ’19

Barbican Cinema is pleased to present Forbidden Colours, a new strand which celebrates rarely seen queer-focused films from places where LGBTQ+ people still suffer societal oppression and struggle for equality.

Opening on 9 July – with the Peruvian film Retablo – this series offers an opportunity for these stories and points of view to be seen on the big screen. Despite huge progress made for LGBTQ+ equality, homosexuality remains illegal in more than 70 countries - as identified by Stonewall - with Brunei briefly joining the ranks of nations where gay sex is punishable by death.

Even in places where legislation has improved, social attitudes are far slower to change and in many societies Queer people still suffer rife oppression, discrimination and deep lack of genuine acceptance.

Yet, despite the oppression queer people continue to face, some great films portraying sympathetic, well rounded LGBTQ+ characters, queer experiences and sensibilities, have emerged from regions where homophobia and persecution of queer people has been normalised. Forbidden Colours will showcase these films, celebrating queer visibility in contemporary international cinema.

Alex Davidson (Barbican Cinema Curator) comments:
The last few years have been a golden era for queer cinema, but films from places where LGBTQ+ continue to face deeply intrenched prejudice, human rights restrictions, criminalisation and even the death penalty are seldom seen in cinemas in the UK.

Forbidden Colours will present brave and brilliant films about queer people from these communities, often made under challenging circumstances, beginning with the London premieres of two films from Peru and Romania. We are excited to offer audiences the opportunity to see these films on the big screen, complemented with introductions and ScreenTalks with special guests.”

Films screening
(18*) + Introduction
Peru/Germany/Norway 2017 Dir Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, 95 min
9 Jul 2019, 18:30, Barbican Cinema 2

Alvaro Delgado Aparicio’s beautiful, powerful drama Retablo features excellent performances, especially from Junior Bejar as the conflicted teen living in a Peruvian Andes village, struggling with complex emotions in an oppressive environment where male vulnerability is held in contempt.

In this highly acclaimed drama, Segundo is a young apprentice learning how to make retablos – artisan story-boxes depicting personal scenes – under the tutelage of his adored father. One day, Segundo finds out that his father has been unfaithful to his wife with other men.

In a community defined by traditional values, Segundo decides to keep this revelation a secret, even as it threatens to tear his world apart.

This screening is introduced by David Edgar, Film Officer at the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Several Conversations about a Very Tall Girl (15*) + ScreenTalk

Romania 2018 Dir Bogdan Theodor Olteanl, 70 min
22 Oct 2019, 18:30 ,Cinema 2

Two young women – one out and proud, the other less confident in her sexuality – begin a tentative affair in this sensitive Romanian drama.

In Bogdan Theodor Olteanu’s intimate drama, a confident lesbian filmmaker (Florentina Nastase) and a shy woman (Silvana Mihai) realise they have an ex-girlfriend in common and, after communicating online, start to date each other.

Although LGBTQ+ rights in Romania have improved in recent years, it remains a conservative society; Nastase’s character recalls a violent hate crime, the other woman is plagued by shame and internalised homophobia. Both actors are excellent, and Olteanu’s debut feature is a quietly powerful depiction of the challenges of being yourself in a hostile climate.

Ticket prices:
Box Office: 0845 120 7527

Standard: £13.50 & £12/ Members: £9.60 &10.80/ Concessions: £12.50 &£11
Young Barbican: £5   * Local Classification