Lilies 1996 / A passionate, underseen queer gem where a confession transforms into a memory play


Many people have forgotten that representation and diversity in media isn’t meant just to fill a quota or to signal virtue– the push for it is in response to the way many of these stories were silenced, repressed, and shut out. Lilies might have been overlooked for quite a while, but its 2023 restoration has thankfully enabled more viewers to watch the tale of an imprisoned gay man finally telling his story, turning the tables on a long overdue confession. Michel Marc Bouchard adapts his play through this play-within-a-film, with director John Greyson playing with the confession booth as a viewing booth for both the bishop and the audience to get fully immersed in a love triangle a century ago, juxtaposed with motifs of martyred Catholic saints and French lilies and fire. Lilies is a well-crafted and deeply emotional masterpiece.

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