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The 12 Best European Gay Movies You Should Already Have Seen By Now!

The 12 Best European Gay Movies You Should Already Have Seen By Now!

Embarking on a journey through the best European gay movies, we immerse ourselves in a world where each film is a powerful ode to love, identity, and resilience. These best European gay movies are not just cinematic creations; they are emotionally charged masterpieces that echo the heartbeats of diverse communities across the continent.

With every scene and storyline, these films captivate and challenge us, compelling us to confront and embrace the myriad facets of the LGBTQ+ experience. They are not merely films; they are emotive journeys that weave through the core of human existence, resonating with a profound depth that stays with us long after the credits roll.

As our odyssey takes us deeper, we encounter the spirited beats of Valencia, the ancient allure of Rome, the sun-kissed shores of Maspalomas, the historic vibrancy of Athens, and the rustic charm of Palermo. In these settings, the best European gay movies find their backdrop, each location adding a unique flavor to the rich tapestry of stories being told.

Whether you’re a cinephile, an advocate for LGBTQ+ representation, or simply someone who treasures the transformative power of storytelling, this exploration is a celebration of artistry, diversity, and the cultural significance of Europe’s best gay films. Prepare to be moved, inspired, and profoundly touched as we journey through the landscapes of love and life depicted in these cinematic treasures.

The 12 Best European Gay Movies You Should Already Have Seen By Now!

Wondering where to watch? It depends on where you live in the world and which streaming services you have. We link to the streaming service we watch on in each case - be it Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apply TV+, or elsewhere.

You can get one month free of Amazon Pride (or a 6-month trial for students) of Amazon Prime and also get immediate access to FREE Two Day shipping, Amazon Video, and Music. While you won't be charged for your free trial, you'll be upgraded to a paid membership plan automatically at the end of the trial period - though if you have already binged all these, you could just cancel before the trial ends.

Apple TV+ also has a one-week trial, and Hulu has a one-month trial (which can be bundled with Disney!). Another option might be using a VPN to access Netflix titles locked to other regions. Netflix is now available in more than 190 countries worldwide and each country has a different library and availability. US Netflix is (understandably) one of the best. 

While we wish everything could just be in one place - for now, it seems these are the best streaming platforms to watch on.

Weekend (2011)

Weekend is a thought-provoking drama film directed by Andrew Haigh. Haigh, a British filmmaker, has established himself as a talented director known for his intimate portrayals of human relationships. His career began in television, working on acclaimed shows like Greek and London Spy. However, it was with his feature film Weekend that Haigh garnered significant attention and critical acclaim.

The film centers around the brief but profound connection between Russell, a reserved lifeguard, and Glen, an artist. After a chance encounter at a crowded nightclub, the two spend a passionate and transformative weekend together. Haigh’s masterful storytelling explores themes of love, identity, and intimacy, delving into the complexities of contemporary relationships.

Set in Nottingham, England, the film beautifully captures the essence of the city. The director incorporates the surroundings into the narrative, showcasing the unique atmosphere and cultural landscape. The setting becomes more than a backdrop; it becomes an integral part of the characters’ journey, influencing their interactions and emotions.

Weekend’s raw portrayal of love and its exploration of identity will resonate with viewers, regardless of their sexual orientation. Haigh’s direction, coupled with exceptional performances by the cast, creates an authentic and emotionally charged narrative. By immersing yourself in the lives of Russell and Glen, you will witness a story that invites reflection, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the complexities of human connection.

Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Call Me by Your Name is a critically acclaimed film directed by Luca Guadagnino, an Italian filmmaker known for his visually stunning and emotionally resonant works. Guadagnino has established himself as a director with a keen eye for capturing complex human relationships and exploring themes of desire and longing. His previous films include I Am Love and A Bigger Splash, both of which showcased his distinct directorial style.

Set in Northern Italy in the early 1980s, Call Me by Your Name follows the story of Elio Perlman, a seventeen-year-old American-Italian boy, played by Timothée Chalamet. Elio spends the summer with his family in their countryside villa, where his father, an archaeology professor, invites Oliver, a charming American graduate student played by Armie Hammer, to assist him. As the days pass, Elio and Oliver develop a deep and passionate connection, exploring their burgeoning desire and grappling with the complexities of their emotions.

The picturesque setting of Northern Italy plays a pivotal role in the film. The lush landscapes, sun-drenched countryside, and idyllic surroundings create a dreamlike atmosphere, intensifying the sensuality and intimacy between the characters. The setting becomes a character in itself, adding a layer of depth to the narrative and enhancing the overall visual experience.

Call Me by Your Name combines a compelling storyline with breathtaking visuals, outstanding performances, and a heartfelt exploration of love and self-discovery. It celebrates the complexities of human connection and offers a profound reflection on the exhilarating and heartbreaking nature of first love. Whether you are interested in LGBT cinema or simply appreciate a thought-provoking and visually captivating film, Call Me by Your Name is a must-watch.

Bad Education (2004)

Bad Education is a captivating film directed by Pedro Almodóvar, a renowned Spanish filmmaker known for his distinct visual style and provocative storytelling. Almodóvar, born in 1949, has established himself as a prominent figure in world cinema, with a career spanning over four decades. His works often explore complex human relationships and societal taboos, blending drama and dark humor with a touch of melodrama.

The film’s plot revolves around two childhood friends, Ignacio and Enrique, whose lives intertwine years later in a Catholic school in Spain during the 1960s. As the narrative unfolds, secrets from the past emerge, revealing the characters’ hidden desires, betrayals, and the consequences of their actions. The film skillfully delves into themes of identity, sexuality, and the lasting impact of childhood experiences.

Set in Spain, the film vividly captures the atmosphere of the era, utilizing vibrant colors and meticulously designed sets to recreate the time period. Almodóvar skillfully uses the backdrop of the school to illustrate the rigid religious and social structures that dominated Spanish society at the time. The contrast between the oppressive environment and the characters’ inner desires adds depth and tension to the narrative.

Bad Education is a must-watch for cinephiles seeking a thought-provoking and visually stunning experience. Almodóvar’s masterful direction, coupled with exceptional performances by the cast, creates a compelling and emotionally charged story. This film’s exploration of LGBT themes, combined with its skillful depiction of time and place, offers a unique perspective on societal norms and the consequences of suppressing one’s true self. Prepare to be captivated by this gripping tale of love, betrayal, and the enduring power of the human spirit.

In the Name Of (2013)

In the Name Of is a compelling drama film released in 2013, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska, a prominent Polish filmmaker known for her thought-provoking works. With a unique vision and a keen eye for social issues, Szumowska has established herself as one of the most influential directors in contemporary Polish cinema.

The film delves into the complex life of Adam, a Catholic priest played by Andrzej Chyra, who is stationed in a remote Polish countryside town. As the story unfolds, we witness Adam’s struggle with his own desires and the rigid constraints of his faith. Blending elements of introspection, social commentary, and psychological depth, In the Name Of takes us on an emotional journey of self-discovery and internal conflict.

Set against the backdrop of the Polish countryside, the film portrays the idyllic yet suffocating environment that shapes the characters’ lives. Szumowska captures the isolation and claustrophobia of the setting, contrasting it with the characters’ internal struggles and the repressive nature of their surroundings. The picturesque landscapes, combined with the tension-filled atmosphere, enhance the film’s thematic exploration and add layers of depth to the storytelling.

By addressing LGBT themes with sensitivity and authenticity, In the Name Of prompts important discussions about sexual repression and the human longing for connection and acceptance. Whether you are a fan of thought-provoking dramas or interested in exploring the intricate struggles faced by individuals in conservative societies, In the Name Of is a film that will captivate and resonate with you long after the credits roll.

My Brother the Devil (2012)

My Brother the Devil is a film directed by Sally El Hosaini, a talented British-Egyptian filmmaker known for her unique storytelling and exploration of complex themes. El Hosaini’s career is marked by her ability to capture the raw essence of diverse cultures and present them on the big screen with authenticity and depth.

The film revolves around the lives of two British-Egyptian brothers, Mo and Rashid, living in the culturally vibrant and ethnically diverse Hackney neighborhood in East London. Mo, played by Fady Elsayed, idolizes his older brother Rashid, portrayed by James Floyd, who is deeply involved in a local gang. As the story unfolds, Mo becomes increasingly entangled in Rashid’s dangerous world, forcing both brothers to confront their own identities and allegiances.

Hackney, with its vibrant multicultural backdrop, serves as a crucial element of the film’s narrative. The neighborhood is portrayed as a place teeming with cultural richness, but also beset by social and economic challenges. El Hosaini skillfully captures the energy and diversity of Hackney, creating a vivid sense of place that adds depth and texture to the story.

Sally El Hosaini’s directorial debut showcases her talent for crafting compelling narratives and eliciting powerful performances from her cast. My Brother the Devil‘s exploration of identity, family bonds, and LGBT themes adds layers of depth to the story, while its authentic portrayal of Hackney provides a captivating backdrop. Prepare to be captivated by this poignant and visually striking film that offers a fresh perspective on complex social issues and the human experience.

Les Invisibles (2018)

Les Invisibles is a compelling film directed by Louis-Julien Petit, known for his dedication to shedding light on social issues through his works. Petit’s career has been marked by a unique style that combines humor and sensitivity to address important topics. His films often explore the lives of marginalized individuals, highlighting their struggles and triumphs with empathy and authenticity.

In Les Invisibles, Petit takes us on a journey into the lives of homeless women in a shelter located in northern France. The film revolves around the tireless efforts of social worker Audrey (played by Audrey Lamy) and her team as they strive to reintegrate these women into society. It offers a glimpse into the daily challenges faced by the homeless and the extraordinary strength and resilience they possess.

Set in the picturesque town of Calais, the film beautifully captures the essence of the location. The stark contrast between the scenic coastal landscapes and the harsh reality of homelessness creates a thought-provoking atmosphere. The setting serves as a metaphor for the underlying theme of the film—unseen struggles existing beneath the surface of society.

Les Invisibles it’s great for anyone seeking a captivating and heartfelt cinematic experience. The film not only sheds light on the lives of homeless women but also explores themes of community, resilience, and the power of human connection. With its strong performances, powerful storytelling, and thought-provoking themes, Les Invisibles is a must-watch that will leave a lasting impact on its audience.

Summer Storm (2004)

Summer Storm is a captivating coming-of-age film directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, a talented German filmmaker known for his ability to explore complex themes with sensitivity and depth. Kreuzpaintner rose to prominence in the early 2000s and has since established himself as a versatile director, tackling diverse genres and subjects.

The film revolves around a group of teenage rowers preparing for an important regatta during a summer camp. Tobi and Achim, close friends and rowing partners, find their relationship tested when a new member, the charismatic and openly gay Leo, joins their team. As the summer unfolds, Tobi’s hidden desires and conflicting emotions come to the surface, forcing him to confront his own identity and question societal expectations.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of a lakeside summer camp in Germany, the film effectively portrays the idyllic yet stifling environment. The serene landscapes mirror the characters’ internal conflicts, contrasting with the intense emotions brewing beneath the surface. The setting becomes a metaphorical stage for the characters’ personal journeys, highlighting the tension between societal expectations and personal authenticity.

Summer Storm is a film that deserves to be seen. Its compelling story, masterful direction, and strong performances by the cast make it an engaging and thought-provoking cinematic experience. The film’s exploration of LGBT themes with sensitivity and authenticity provides valuable insight into the struggles faced by individuals discovering their true identities.

Jongens (2014)

Jongens is a Dutch coming-of-age film directed by Mischa Kamp. Kamp, a renowned filmmaker, has established herself as a prominent figure in Dutch cinema through her heartfelt storytelling and ability to explore sensitive subjects with great compassion. Known for her work in both film and television, Kamp has consistently delivered thought-provoking narratives that resonate deeply with audiences.

The film follows the story of Sieger, a 15-year-old boy, who is struggling to navigate the complexities of adolescence. Set against the backdrop of a summer athletics camp, Sieger finds himself unexpectedly drawn to his teammate, Marc. As their friendship evolves, Sieger grapples with his emerging feelings and the societal expectations that surround him. The plot delves into themes of self-discovery, identity, and the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in a heteronormative world.

The film is set in the picturesque Dutch countryside, beautifully capturing the essence of rural life. Through stunning visuals and meticulous attention to detail, Kamp paints a vivid portrait of the setting, immersing the audience in its serene atmosphere. This portrayal not only serves as a backdrop for the narrative but also reflects the characters’ internal journeys, as they search for their place in a conservative environment.

Jongens it’s great for anyone seeking a moving and thought-provoking film experience. Its authentic depiction of adolescence, combined with strong performances and Kamp’s skilled direction, creates a truly immersive cinematic journey. By watching this film, audiences can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth and the power of self-acceptance, ultimately leaving a lasting impact on their hearts and minds.

Show Me Love (1998)

Show Me Love, directed by Lukas Moodysson, is a compelling Swedish film that explores themes of love, identity, and societal pressures. Moodysson, known for his poignant storytelling and raw depiction of adolescence, has established himself as a prominent figure in contemporary European cinema.

The film revolves around the lives of two teenage girls, Agnes and Elin, who reside in the small, mundane town of Åmål. Agnes is an introverted and misunderstood loner, while Elin is a popular girl who outwardly conforms to societal expectations. However, their lives intersect one fateful evening, setting in motion a profound and transformative journey of self-discovery.

Set in the unassuming town of Åmål, the film serves as a microcosm of society’s tendency to suppress individuality and enforce conformity. Moodysson skillfully portrays the town’s stifling atmosphere and the characters’ yearning for freedom and authentic connections. Through intimate cinematography and genuine performances, the film presents a realistic and heartfelt portrayal of adolescence in a stifling environment.

Show Me Love is a captivating film that should be experienced by audiences seeking compelling storytelling and thought-provoking themes. Moodysson’s masterful direction, combined with the exceptional performances of the cast, offers a poignant exploration of love, friendship, and self-discovery. By highlighting the struggles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in a small town, the film encourages empathy and understanding. Whether you resonate with the LGBT themes or simply appreciate a heartfelt coming-of-age story, Show Me Love is a must-watch film that will leave a lasting impact on its viewers.

Xenia (2014)

Xenia is a captivating film directed by Panos H. Koutras, a Greek filmmaker known for his distinct storytelling style and exploration of societal issues. Koutras, born in Athens in 1963, has established himself as a prominent figure in Greek cinema through his thought-provoking narratives and visually stunning cinematography.

Set against the backdrop of contemporary Greece, Xenia delves into the lives of two brothers, Dany and Ody, who embark on a quest to find their estranged father in order to secure legal documentation. The film weaves a tale of self-discovery, identity, and the complexities of familial relationships. As the brothers traverse through Greece, encountering diverse characters and challenges along the way, they confront their own fears and desires, gradually unraveling the layers of their own identities.

The film beautifully captures the essence of Greece, with its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture serving as an integral backdrop to the narrative. From the bustling streets of Athens to the picturesque islands, Xenia showcases the diverse facets of Greek society, simultaneously highlighting both its beauty and its flaws.

Xenia is a cinematic gem that offers a compelling story, rich character development, and a poignant exploration of LGBT themes. Koutras’ direction, combined with exceptional performances, creates an immersive experience for the viewer. If you appreciate thought-provoking narratives that delve into complex social issues and appreciate visually stunning cinematography, Xenia is a must-watch. Prepare to be captivated by its emotional depth, its exploration of identity, and its celebration of love and acceptance in the face of adversity.

The Summer of Sangaile (2015)

The Summer of Sangaile is a captivating film directed by Alantė Kavaitė, a Lithuanian filmmaker known for her unique storytelling approach and visually stunning cinematography. Kavaitė’s career has been marked by her ability to delve into the depths of human emotions and capture them on screen with remarkable sensitivity.

The film revolves around the life of Sangaile, a young girl grappling with her fears and insecurities. Set in a small Lithuanian town, the story follows Sangaile’s summer journey of self-discovery and her blossoming relationship with Austė, a confident and free-spirited girl she meets at an air show. Together, they embark on a journey of love, passion, and personal growth.

The setting of the film, a picturesque Lithuanian town, plays an integral role in shaping the narrative. Kavaitė skillfully captures the serene beauty of the landscape, juxtaposing it against Sangaile’s internal struggles. The vast open skies and the thrill of aerobatic displays at the air show symbolize freedom, liberation, and the possibility of overcoming one’s fears.

The Summer of Sangaile is a must-watch for anyone seeking an emotionally resonant and visually captivating cinematic experience. Kavaitė’s direction, coupled with the brilliant performances of the cast, brings the characters to life in a way that feels authentic and relatable. The film’s exploration of LGBT themes adds another layer of depth, offering a unique perspective on love, acceptance, and self-discovery.

Noordzee, Texas (2011)

Noordzee, Texas is a film directed by Bavo Defurne, a Belgian filmmaker known for his visually captivating storytelling. Defurne began his career as a director of short films, gaining recognition for his unique style and delicate exploration of human emotions. Noordzee, Texas marks his feature film debut, showcasing his ability to capture the nuances of love and longing with exceptional finesse.

The film follows the journey of Pim, a young boy growing up in a small coastal town in Belgium during the 1960s. Pim navigates the challenges of adolescence, grappling with his emerging sexuality and a deep yearning for Gino, his handsome and enigmatic neighbor. As Pim’s infatuation with Gino intensifies, he embarks on a path of self-discovery, grappling with his identity and the complexities of unrequited love.

The film’s setting, a tranquil coastal town, serves as a metaphorical backdrop for Pim’s internal journey. The serene and isolated environment mirrors Pim’s own isolation and longing for something beyond the confines of his small world. The cinematography skillfully captures the beauty of the seaside, creating a visual experience that complements the emotional depth of the story.

Noordzee, Texas is a heartfelt and evocative film that immerses viewers in a poignant exploration of identity, love, and self-acceptance. It is a must-watch for those who appreciate visually stunning cinema and nuanced storytelling. Through its tender portrayal of LGBT themes, the film offers a universal message of understanding, compassion, and the courage to embrace one’s true self. Noordzee, Texas invites audiences to reflect on their own journeys and reminds us of the transformative power of self-discovery.