To get into the spirit of Pride Month, this week the Pass the Remote column focuses on a series of releases that delve into issues pertinent to the LGBTQX community.
• “Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen”: Representation matters, but what about when what you see splashed up on screen makes you a murder victim or an object of offensive humor? That’s how the trans community mostly sees how they’re depicted in movies and TV. Sam Feder’s excellent documentary weeds through the good and the bad roles and adds meaningful commentary from “Orange Is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox, “The Matrix” filmmaker Lilly Wachowski and actress Mj Rodriguez among others. From fielding numerous (and clueless) questions about anatomy, to viewing films that made them feel less of a human being, this Sundance award winner addresses how the world views the trans community head on. (Available on Netflix on June 19.)
• “Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth”: Jeanie Finlay takes a sensitive but not sensational approach to her poignant documentary on trans gay man Freddy McConnell and his desire to give birth. Finlay is invited to join the 30-year-old McConnell and his mother on this incredible journey. Finlay — who obviously gained his trust — is there for the hard times and the joyous ones as McConnell undergoes hormone therapy and experiences pregnancy, childbirth and fatherhood. It’s a lovely film and perfect viewing for Father’s Day. (Available to stream on digital and on demand on June 16.)
• “For They Know What They Do”: The director of “For the Bible Tells Me So” revisits the evangelical Christian movement to illustrate the destructive nature that the conservative Christian playbook unleashes on families with a child who is gay or trans. Daniel G. Karslake profiles various families, each with different outcomes. It’s a necessary work that doesn’t deride faith, but showcases the manipulation of Scripture. (Screening at the Roxie’s virtual cinema: https://watch.firstrunfeatures.com/products/for-they-know-not-what-they-do-at-the-roxie-cinema)
• “Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn”: Meticulously researched and stuffed with interviews and archival footage, this HBO documentary from director Ivy Meeropol fascinates throughout. It covers the notorious life of one of the most closeted, despicable historical American figures — Roy Cohn. A crony of movers and shakers in high places and a maker of people in high places, Meeropol reflects on the influential man and the role he played in the witch hunt and executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. She also shows how his buddy Donald Trump turned away from him after he was diagnosed with AIDS. (It debuts on June 18 on HBO.)
• Frameline’s Pride Showcase: From the world premiere of the short “Island Queen” with Jesse Tyler Ferguson of “Modern Family” and Rachel Dratch of “SNL,” to the world premiere of “Ahead of the Curve” — a scintillating documentary about the founder of the influential lesbian magazine — the Frameline44 Pride Showcase is filled with high-quality films to celebrate Pride. It’s a can’t-miss slate, but I’d get those tickets pronto. (Full lineup: https://www.frameline.org/festival/pride-showcase-calendar)