LGBT at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

LGBT at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Allan Radcliffe previews the finest LGBT-themed films at this year’s EIFF

As ever, the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s ten-day showcase of screenings, talks, interviews and special events, there’s a decent sprinkling of films that are of particular interest to those of an LGBT persuasion.

Those interested in a little bit of politics are urged to see Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick’s acclaimed documentary Outrage, which delves into the phenomenon of allegedly closeted gay politicians supporting anti-gay legislation. The film explores the harm inflicted on the LGBT community by these legislators and discusses the ethics of outing politicians for the choices they make in their private lives.

A couple of dramas about passionate relationships between women are also well worth a look. The Portuguese-set noir, West Point, directed by French filmmaker Laurence Rebouillon, focuses on one woman’s obsessive love for another, and the protagonists’ attempts to free themselves from a traumatic past. Meanwhile, Lucia Puenzo, who directed the haunting XXY, brings forth an intriguing thriller, El Niño Pez (pictured), adapted from her own novel. In the film two girls from completely different social backgrounds fall in love, but, unable to express their desires in the strict society they inhabit, they are forced to commit a crime. The film features Inés Efron, who played the defiant hermaphrodite in XXY.

In a lighter vein, Lynn Shelton’s Humpday focuses on a pair of friends who take their male bonding to new levels when they drunkenly agree to appear in a gay porn film together, and have sex onscreen. Can their friendship (not to mention Ben’s marriage) survive this adventure? Similarly, the Peter McDougall-scripted, John Mackenzie-directed The Elephant’s Graveyard from 1976 touches on themes of male bonding and friendship, and features a great central performance from the Big Yin himself, Billy Connolly.

For full details of screenings see


  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • US
  • 1h 34min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Lynn Shelton
  • Written by: Lynn Shelton
  • Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard

Old (straight) college buddies Ben (Duplass) and Andrew (Leonard) drunkenly decide to have sex together in a film submission for an amateur pornography festival. In the cold light of day, though, certain obstacles appear. Writer-director Shelton has fashioned a very amusing and observant study of male insecurities with…

El Nino Pez

  • 2009
  • Argentina / Spain / France
  • 1h 36min
  • E
  • Directed by: Lucia Puenzo
  • Cast: Inés Efrón, Mariela Vitale, Pep Munné

Wealthy teenager Lala ('XXY's Efrón) is in love, but it's safe to say her parents won't approve of her choice: the object of her affections is the family's feisty young Paraguayan housemaid, Ailin (Mariela Vitale). Based upon Puenza's own novel, this twisty and atmospheric tale takes the two girls from the realm of…

Just Another Saturday

  • 1975
  • UK
  • 1h 17min
  • E
  • Directed by: John Mackenzie
  • Written by: Screenplay, Peter McDougall
  • Cast: Jon Morrison, Billy Connolly, Eileen McCallum, Bill Henderson, Ken Hutchison

Part of a double bill, screening with The Elephant's Graveyard. Incredible as it may seem, this controversial drama was Peter McDougall's first script. An incendiary work (which the police claimed would cause 'bloodshed on the streets'), it would deservedly win him the coveted Prix Italia award. Mackenzie's outstanding…