Nazmia Jamal

Former programmer, BFI Flare

Voted for

Pakeezah1972Kamal Amrohi
By Hook or by Crook2001Harry Dodge, Silas Howard
Born in Flames 1983Lizzie Borden
Je, tu, il, elle1974Chantal Akerman
The Piano1992Jane Campion
The Colour of Pomegranates1968Sergei Paradjanov
Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
Moonlight2016Barry Jenkins
Passport to Pimlico1949Henry Cornelius



1972 India

Pakeezah is a wild ride full of iconic looks (the clothes, the eyes...), improbable plot lines and one of the best selling Bollywood soundtracks of all time. One of the most well known songs, 'Chalte Chalte' has long been claimed as a queer cruising anthem; while Archie Panjabi recreated the opening song 'Inhin Logon Ne' in the chip shop backyard scene in East is East, like so many diaspora kids across the years - including me round the back of Aberdare Coliseum in the 1990s. This film is a masterpiece of longing, melodrama and timeless style.

By Hook or by Crook

2001 USA

The perfect buddy movie. Sexy, funny, heartbreaking and extremely queer.

Born in Flames


Black women, be ready. White women, get ready. Red women, stay ready. Born in Flames remains one of the most energising feminist films around. It also has an impeccable soundtrack.

The Piano

1992 Australia, France

A film that springs to mind every time I find myself on a rainy beach or with a hole in my tights. Two hours of perfect, voluptuous repression and desire.

The Colour of Pomegranates

1968 USSR, Armenian SSR

Heart in mouth beautiful.


1960 India

Visually dazzling in both black and white and colour versions, there is nothing quite like this film. Madhubala defiantly dancing, seen via her reflection in hundreds of tiny mirrors, is just one of the highlights.

Passport to Pimlico

1949 United Kingdom

This is such a perfectly satisfying film. An unusually hot London summer, a cost of living crisis (well, rationing) and ordinary people standing up to the government. The border story line is especially interesting viewed post-Brexit. Plus you can never go wrong if Margaret Rutherford is involved.

Further remarks

If I had more choices I would have included at least one big Hollywood musical like Gentleman Prefer Blondes or even Silk Stockings. There are more recent films I would have included too, like The Handmaiden or Hotel Budapest. Plus I didn't even get close to having space for the real classics - Empire Strikes Back, Moana and, ahem, Runaway Bride.