Reportedly the first film to come out of East Germany to deal openly with gay issues. Philipp, a closeted teacher is dating a female collegue to keep up appearances. One night, by 'accident... See full summary »
Reportedly the first film to come out of East Germany to deal openly with gay issues. Philipp, a closeted teacher is dating a female collegue to keep up appearances. One night, by 'accident' he stumbles into a gay bar, meets and promptly falls in love with a young man. Transformed by this love he is no longer afraid to face up to who he is. Written by
Premiered in East-Berlin on 9 November 1989. When the news broke that the border between East and West had been opened, the film was stopped and the audience was informed about the event taking place outside the cinema. The vast majority of the audience demanded to see the rest of the film before joining the masses outside. See more »
This is a very interesting and stylish movie, unlike any other gay themed movie I know. It's East German, made just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The paranoia, seriousness and drabness of East Berlin is a palpable atmosphere, and the illicit illegality of homosexuality there at the time. There are echoes of an expressionistic Berlin cabaret tradition: the exaggeration in the dance club scenes, and the song in the experimental theater/concert scene. The angst rings true. The atonality of some of the music in the soundtrack adds to the angst. The director obviously sees something "atonal" about these young men in love, but maybe it reflects the cultural context rather than disapproval? The quiet conversation scenes without scoring seem a little like Bergman in style.
I think it would be a mistake to view the self-loathing of the gay men in this movie, or the main character's mother's sad disappointment over her son's sexuality, with American eyes of the 21st Century, or those of the much freer Europe of current times. And even today there are still plenty of paranoid, secretive young gay men around, even in progressive countries.
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