Queer Cinema With Kanopy

Imagine: Their dresses and scarves flutter in response to the gentle calls of the wind, blowing against them as they approach the rock that shall house their fleeting, but undying love. Their grievous fate rings louder in your mind, too, and you pull your blanket a little closer as if to try to change it through the screen. Having made it to the rock, Marianne stretches her hand out to Héloïse, whose fingers quickly fasten around her arm. This is one of the many moments in her film, Portrait of a Lady On Fire, where Céline Sciamma boasts of her genius and ability to transport the audience through her carefully crafted moments of rapture and tenderness. In fact, the strength of queer and trans cinema, beyond Sciamma, is in this ability to immediately bring audiences into their worlds even when they are rife with fraught, as in Emma Seligman's Shiva Baby, or Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman.

Kanopy, opens a new window is an online streaming platform accessible with your San Mateo County Libraries library card, that brings these diverse cinematic universes even closer to you. The platform not only offers a wide range of films by queer and trans directors, but also films telling both fictional and non-fictional stories of the LGBTQ+ community.

Accessing Kanopy

  1. Visit Kanopy
  2. When prompted, add your library card number and four-digit pin.
  3. Create a personal account for your profile with your preferred email address and password.
  4. Log into your new account and enjoy the amazing films in the catalog!

DVD Recommendations

If DVDs tickle your fancy instead, here is a list of amazing LGBTQ+ films with directors from this community that you may find at our libraries.

The Watermelon Woman


Everything Everywhere All at Once

Petite maman

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu



The Rocky Horror Picture Show

This blog was written in collaboration with Naomi Kamau, Library Aide at Foster City Library.