New Queer Visions: Lust in Translation is a new collection of short films featuring queer storylines and helmed by female directors. With films from South Africa, Belgium, Cambodia, the UK and US, the shorts give viewers slices of life from around the world, and the collection is better for it. Like any collection, Lust and Translation has its highlights and its missteps. The good outweighs the not-so-good, however, making the collection worthy of its $3.99 rental fee.
Here’s a breakdown on the shorts featured in the collection.
Shimi feels like a film that should have been situated in the middle of this collection. A bit of a slog, it’s simply trying too hard to be something. What that is isn’t exactly clear. A story of obsession? A twisted psychological drama? A love story? Set in the fiercely competitive ballet world, leading character Keely falls for an older prima donna, who may or may not just exist in Keely’s head.
Lost in the World (South Africa)
Love. Revenge. Addiction. A young detective goes on a vigilante quest to find the men who are responsible for her fiancee’s death. While Lost in the World suffers from some technical issues and mostly amateur cast, you can’t help but be drawn into the complicated web it weaves.
Stevie is the kind of queer girl many of us can relate to. A tomboy way past the time when many girls grow out of it, Stevie lives for sports, especially basketball. Her world gets flipped upside down when she falls for the sister of the boy who likes her. We all have that one girl who answers that unspoken question, and Stevie feels wonderfully relatable.
Blood and Water (USA)
Florence is a Brit attending grad school in NYC. When she’s not coasting by the skin of her teeth, she’s slamming shots and hooking up across the city. One professor captivates and fascinates Florence, and the line between teacher and student begins to blur. Blood and Water is tense and beautifully acted, and feels like it could be stretched into a captivating feature length film.
Two Girls Against the Rain (Cambodia)
The only documentary of the bunch features the story of two Cambodian women who met and fell in love during the Khmer Rouge reign. Separated as young women and again as adults, they somehow found their way back to each other again and again. Their love heals, and their quiet dedication to each other even begins to change the hearts and minds of those in their small village. A truly inspiring story.
Almost Obsolete (UK)
After being dumped by her wife and kept away from her young daughter, Chris takes a road trip to visit her best friend and fellow queer, Michael. The two spend a few wild nights in Brighton, but booze and sex aren’t the balms for what ails Chris. A chance encounter and reconnecting with Michael may just be what it takes to get her life back together.
Out trans actor D’Lo plays the ultimate player who meets a woman who takes him on a wild and special night, challenging him to look for more than just a quick hook-up. The woman never shares her name, but we do know that tonight’s the night she plans to quit drinking. Getting “lit” forces both of them to look at who they are and who they want to be. D’Lo is captivating with his calm, even demeanor and soulful eyes. Rinabeth Apostol is perfect as an enigmatic presence who is both wise and reckless. Written and directed by Elena Oxman, Lit is easily one of the highlights of this collection, with high production values and great performances.
Lust in Translation is available for digital rental exclusively at Filmdoo.com