7 Sapphic Films To Watch This Pride Month (And Beyond)

It’s Pride Month! That means it’s time to catch up on all of the wonderful, queer movies and shows that your streaming service has packaged in a cute little category for your viewing pleasure. If you’re sapphic or a sapphic movie lover, there are obvious favorites like Carol and But I’m A Cheerleader, but where’s the love for some other WLW movies? Here are 7 to catch up on this glorious month of June. 

Bound (1996)

Summit Entertainment

Bound is a 1996 movie directed by The Wachowski’s, both of whom are mostly known for directing The Matrix. Starring Jennifer Tilly as Violet and Gina Gershon as Corky, the two women unexpectedly cross paths when they meet in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of a super-aggressive gangster and Corky has just gotten out of prison and is working on renovating the apartment next to Violet. The two can’t keep their eyes or hands off each other. Of course, it’s not so easy for Violet to leave her gangster partner, so the two create a plan to steal money and make it out alive so they can live their best life loving each other. Bound is incredibly 90s and you’ll either be obsessed with Violet’s aesthetic, Corky’s seemingly bad-girl vibes, or their intricate and somewhat forbidden love. Watch Bound on Paramount+ with Showtime.

The Watermelon Woman (1997)

First Run Features

The Watermelon Woman is a film within a film about an aspiring black lesbian filmmaker, Cheryl, who is researching black actresses and how they are ultimately forgotten by time. This research leads her to start investigating The Watermelon Woman, a 1930s performer whose story is inspiring to Cheryl. The Watermelon Woman is actually the first full-length feature film that was directed by an out lesbian and black filmmaker, so if the story isn’t interesting or inspiring enough to you, the history and how monumental this type of film is definitely should be. The film also has some funny one-offs, like how Cheryl visits the Center for Lesbian Information and Technology. If you were to put that center into acronym form, it would be called the CLIT. Amazing, truly amazing. Watch The Watermelon Woman on Max.

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

Universal Pictures

Fried Green Tomatoes is a beautiful classic that doesn’t get enough love in terms of a lesbian-centered film. The movie is based on the book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, and stars Kathy Bates, Mary-Louise Parker, and Mary Stuart Masterson as the not-explicitly-mentioned lesbian leads. In the movie, two different timelines are expressed, one of the present and one in the past where Idgie (Masterson) and Ruth (Parker) fall in love. Ruth is dating Idgie’s brother, Buddy (Chris O’Donnell), but he is tragically killed. Idgie runs away but after some years, comes back and is forced to spend the summer with Ruth. This is when the two women fall in love, even though it is never explicitly said that they are dating. The two women deal with domestic abuse, handling trauma, and an eventual murder trial together entirely by each other’s side. Fried Green Tomatoes is wholesome and will make your tear ducts work just a little. Watch Fried Green Tomatoes on Prime Video.

Portrait Of A Marriage (1990)

BBC Two

Portrait Of A Marriage tells the story of a real-life love affair between a feminist writer and a novelist after World War I in England. Vita Sackville-West (Janet McTeer) and Violet Keppel (Cathryn Harrison) dive head-first into a steamy romance after spending their whole lives as close friends. The problem with this is that Vita is married to Harold (David Haig), who actually admits to her that he likes to sleep with other men. Harold and Vita love each other but ultimately aren’t fulfilled in the same sexual way they should be as husband and wife, so Vita and Violet pursue their connection in an incredibly tense and carnal way. If you’re a fan of period pieces, you’ll love the backdrop of post-war England weaved in with the intricacies of women loving women.  

Pariah (2011)

Focus Features

Pariah is a great coming-of-age story for a lesbian trying to figure out her identity and all that comes with it. Alike (Adepero Oduye) is a Brooklyn native who is quietly embracing her sexuality and identity and is searching for that first wlw relationship. The film was made by Dee Rees and she refers to it as being semi-autobiographical in nature. Knowing that tidbit of information makes so much sense when you watch the film, because it is incredibly real and relatable for a coming out story and figuring out your identity and trying to own it. Pariah follows the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to facing a life that isn’t entirely built for queer kids and how being your authentic self can be terrifying but incredibly liberating at the same time. Watch Pariah on Prime Video.

Saving Face (2005)

Sony Pictures

Saving Face is one of the lesbian romances that actually has a happy ending, which is incredibly hard to find. Wil (Michelle Krusiec) and Vivian (Lynn Chen) have a budding relationship, but things start to get complicated when Wil is unwilling to come out to her very traditional Chinese family and also her 48-year-old mother is pregnant by someone who she will not name. Wil’s mother gets kicked out of her parents’ home and is forced to live with Wil and that is where the challenges for Wil and Vivian start. In order for the two women to remain together, Wil has to figure out how to come out to a community that isn’t accepting of queer people and how to keep her relationship strong. Watch Saving Face on Tubi.

Desert Hearts (1985)

The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Desert Hearts is a lesbian romance that is set in the 1950s between a strait-laced professor and an unconventional woman in Reno, Nevada. Helen Shaver stars as the professor, Vivian, and Patricia Charbonneau is the unconventional lover, Cay. Vivian divorces her husband in New York and decides she wants to travel and get away from that break-up, only to meet Cay, where she falls in love with her. What is special about Desert Hearts is that it showcases how you don’t have to have everything figured out by your 30s and being a late-in-life lesbian isn’t a negative. There is no timeline for figuring yourself out and falling in love and queer joy is readily available for anyone. Watch Desert Hearts on Max.

Riley is a horror and zodiac writer who uses her powers to dismantle the Gemini stereotypes every day. When she’s not writing, she is lifting, playing with her dogs, and watching movies with her partner.

Keep up with Riley on Instagram and rileypresnell.com