As Themester 2022’s Identity and Identification comes to a close, the IU community is heading home for winter break. Looking for something to watch? This list of identity-related films and shows includes a few familiar selections from the semester’s partnership with IU Cinema as well as some new picks. Check them out on streaming services.
Black Is... Black Ain't - Documentary
Amazon Prime Video, Kanopy
Exploring the definition of blackness in Black Is... Black Ain't, filmmaker Marlon Riggs addresses and critiques topics like sexism, colorism, the church, and identity in the Black community. This is Riggs' final film before he passed away from complications due to AIDS in 1994. Read Themester intern Imari Walker's reflection on this documentary at IU Cinema’s Establishing Shot.
If you've already watched this film, consider Raoul Peck's documentary, I Am Not Your Negro (2016). Based on James Baldwin's unfinished essay, “Remember This House,” this documentary reflects on Black identity and racism in American history. I Am Not Your Negro is available for free on IU Kanopy and YouTube.
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution - Documentary
Also part of Themester 2022 film series at IU Cinema, Crip Camp looks at the “loose, free-spirited" Camp Jened, designed for teens with disabilities and how it empowered its campers to become disability rights movement activists.
Pose - Drama
Hulu, YouTube, Apple TV
Starring celebrities such as Billy Porter, Indya Moore and Dominique Jackson, Pose explores the ballroom subculture in New York City: drag queen pageants that originated in LGBTQ+ African American and Latin American communities. Pose explores the identity of being transgender people of color, especially in New York City's downtown scene and during the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Gattaca – Feature film, Thriller
YouTube, Amazon Prime Video
A final film in the IU Cinema/Themester fall 2022 series, Gattaca stars Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, who play characters determined to overcome genetic discrimination while living in a dystopian world where eugenics has become common.
But I'm a Cheerleader – Feature film, Comedy
Starring Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black, Russian Doll), this cult LGBTQ+ classic is a satirical romantic comedy that follows teens in a residential conversion camp to "cure" their homosexuality.
Everything's Gonna Be Okay – Comedy
Amazon Prime Video
In a two-season series, Nicholas Moss is summoned to the United States to take care of his two half-sisters in Los Angeles. Everything's Gonna Be Okay explores neurodivergence in a welcoming family setting.
Club Native – Documentary
Amazon Prime Video
Created by Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer, Club Native examines the reality of indigenous identity. The film analyzes community, racism, and what blood quantum laws mean for the future of indigenous tribes.
IU Libraries films
For more suggestions, junior Richard Wu compiled a list of films available in the IU Libraries Media Services collection.