Recently, Full Frame released a statement against House Bill 2, the discriminatory legislation barring transgender people from using the public restroom that matches their gender identity. “We are proud to be a part of the documentary community, providing a safe space for myriad perspectives in an effort to cultivate empathy,” the statement read in part. The claim has substance: Documentaries, as intimate portraits of specific lives, are uniquely powerful tools against bigotry, which thrives on ignorance and generalization. Four of the most interesting films at this year’s festival take up LGBTQ issues. Though each has a different cultural perspective, each finds the same heteronormative pressures around the world.

CALL ME MARIANNA (April 7, 4:10 p.m.)“Please talk to me like a son,” says the mother of a Polish transgender woman seeking gender-affirmation surgery. It’s one of many heartbreaking, maddening moments in director Karolina Bielawska’s moving documentary about Marianna’s struggle for self-actualization, as she batters herself against bureaucracy and prejudice. “It’s absolute bliss,” Marianna enthuses after her surgery, running on the beach in a swimsuit. It’s a hard-won, joyous moment with more adversity in store. Intercutting Marianna’s journey with scenes of her rehearsing her story with a community theater group, the film aptly uses music by Antony and the Johnsons to soundtrack the difficult, courageous transformation into oneself.