Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Movies You Need to See in July

The arthouses are positively bursting in July, which is a relief, since we’re looking at a pretty weak-looking studio slate this month (Pixels? Self/Less? Effing Minions?). In fact, there are so many good ones that we’ve busted out of our customary ten-or-so format to recommend a baker’s dozen documentaries and indies, ranging from icon profiles to no-budget dramas to star-driven comedies. Dig in:

Mala Mala

Release Date: July 1
Directors: Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles

A group of trans women (and one trans man) struggle to find their place in modern Puerto Rico in this intensely personal and thought-provoking documentary. Directors Santini and Sickles initially create disparate portraits, with subjects of varying ages, personality types, status, and experience, moving from the exquisitely photographed joy of the drag club to the nitty-gritty depression of the street corner. But the film turns inspirational in the third act, as they create a community (and a non-profit foundation) to organize, march, and fight for their cause. A sensitive and non-judgmental appeal to, as one subject puts it, “Say who you’re gonna be, and then be it.”