Oscar History

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Directors ofFor Sama

Lulu Wang(The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra(Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes(Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu(Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke(Ash is Purest White)

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Recommend HBO's LGBT History: Bessie (2015) (Email)

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Manuelis working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last weekwe looked at the grim,if necessary,docHunted: The War Against Gays In Russiawhich dove right into the ugly homophobic "hunting gays for sport"pastime which has been legitimized by a Russian government that,ahead of the Sochi Olympics,passed propaganda legislation that made it all but illegal to openly support and advocate for gay rights.This week,we're turning our eyes to Dee Rees'sBessie.

It's a film that's already been discussed quite a bit around these quarters.Angelica Jade Bastiénwrote an in-depth reviewupon the film's release which, as she reminds us,"wonderfully explores the way black people relate to each other."Anne Marie looked at it as part of herWomen's Pictures series,singling out the way queerness and blackness dominate the proceedings.I won't rehearse their arguments because,frankly,I don't think I could improve on their canny assessments of this ambitious film.Instead,I figure we could use the film to talk about the oppressively whitewashed LGBT representation that even a forward-thinking network like HBO cannot help but replicate.

Just as I was sitting down to write this piece,thinking that perhaps I was setting myself up for the usual cries of "ugh,anotherdiversity article?Why must the PC police continue thumping that tired ass drum?"a mini-tweetstorm kerfuffle was taking place.

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