Movie review: Head of the Class made me laugh, made me squee, and made me think

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This excellent sampling of shorts presented by Out in Schools to BC students made laugh, made me squee, and made me think.

Change plays as part of Head of the Class at the 2012 Vancouver Queer Film FestivalChange

In 2008, America elected its first Black president. At the same time, California voted by a thin margin to turn back the clock on same-sex marriage. This harsh, challenging film takes place on Election Day and follows an inner-city Black high school student. Too young to vote, he nevertheless cares deeply about the election and believes Obama is the best choice for the country. However, of all his family he is the only one to oppose Prop 8, and only his little sister knows he’s gay; of all his friends he is the only one to not be a homophobic macho jackass planning to graffiti the class’s out gay student’s house.

When Obama is elected, it feels to his family like the dawning of a new age. When it turns out Prop 8 passed, it feels to him like things maybe haven’t changed that much. And when his friends do end up vandalising his friend’s house, he decides to stop hiding…

This was a very harsh and challenging, smartly dealing with multiple issues of race, religion and sexuality. The change promised by Obama is hard and sometimes uneven, and there are no easy answers.

Rise Against Homophobia National Youth Short Video Contest Winners

The contest went national this year, with 260 submissions from (I believe) 8 provinces total. They were all excellent and gave me real hope for the future, but my favourite is the hilarious and nerdy The Olive Principle.

Only Fags Listen to Pop Music

As much as I despise Britney, I have to admit Stronger is pretty catchy, and can be a good anthem. The message is: be yourself and screw the haters, even if it means loving bad pop.

The Queen

A very funny little short, about a nerdy boy who draws muscly superheroes in his textbooks and fantasises about being the prom queen.

I Don’t Want To Go Back Alone

A super-sweet high-school romance from Brazil, between a blind student and the handsome new boy in school. Funny and endearing, and so far my favourite short film of the festival.


A surreal little short about… well, I’m not totally sure. Denial and subconsciously outing yourself, probably. I think I get it, but it didn’t really work for me.

Nicolas DemersNicolas Demers

Nicolas Demers is a web developer and blogger living in Vancouver’s West End. In his spare time he enjoys science-fiction, photography, and is actively involved with the Vancouver Gay Volleyball Association.

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