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Queer 80s

Cinema on the brink of global change

A group of queer people hold each other joyously in the sun.

Time travel through the cinema screen back to the 1980s, a decade when LGBTQ+ representation and creativity thrived in the build-up to enormous geopolitical and social change.

Change was in the air in the 1980s. Queer filmmakers seized the camera to tell new stories in different ways. More interesting, provocative and unapologetic depictions of LGBTQ+ people made it to the big screen. Meanwhile, in the background, the world was on the edge of transformation. Borders were about to shift (three of the films in this film programme originate from countries that would not exist beyond 1991), the work to end Apartheid in South Africa continued on while, even as archaic laws around homosexuality began to be revoked, the Aids crisis led to rise in terrible wave of homophobia.

Join us on a journey across all six continents through 1980s queer cinema from East & West Germany, Scandinavia, the Soviet Union, the USA, Brazil, Japan, South Africa and New Zealand, showing LGBTQ+ lives on the edge of extraordinary change.