17 user 10 critic

Coming Out (1989)

A young teacher in East Berlin struggles with accepting his homosexuality.


Heiner Carow


Erika Richter (dramatisation), Wolfram Witt (scenario)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthias Freihof Matthias Freihof ... Philipp Klarmann
Dagmar Manzel Dagmar Manzel ... Tanja
Dirk Kummer Dirk Kummer ... Matthias
Michael Gwisdek ... Achim
Werner Dissel Werner Dissel ... Älterer Homosexueller
Gudrun Ritter ... Frau Moellemann, Serviererin
Walfriede Schmitt Walfriede Schmitt ... Philipp's mother
Axel Wandtke Axel Wandtke ... Jakob
Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss ... Araber (as Pierre Bliss)
René Schmidt René Schmidt ... Junger Mann im Park
Thomas Gumpert Thomas Gumpert ... Larry
Ursula Staack Ursula Staack ... Üppige
Robert Hummel Robert Hummel ... Lutz
Horst Ziethen Horst Ziethen ... Schmächtiger
Gertraud Kreissig Gertraud Kreissig ... Schul-Direktorin


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.report Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The first East German film on homosexuality, it was shot on location in several gay bars and cruising areas in East Berlin. See more »


Referenced in Atomic Blonde (2017) See more »


Unter der Haut
Performed by City
See more »

User Reviews

difficult to judge
14 July 2004 | by HermesPanSee all my reviews

Ultimately this is a difficult movie to judge in relation to content, because it is the only movie from East Germany (and perhaps central Europe) dealing with coming out and homosexuality in a somewhat objective manner. East Germany was, for a communist country, rather liberal (homosexuality wasn't illegal, just ignored; women were an integral part of the work force and society...), yet still communist. I am a bit confused by one writer's comment regarding Bush's oppressive America...I think it rather resembles this movie. But I digress...

Overall, the movie is a success given its origin. No tragedies, but rather a man who struggles with his identity and ultimately accepts himself emotionally as a gay man. I guess it is a period piece as much as 'In and Out' may be considered a period piece. Maybe historical representation would be a better term, in particular with this movie, given the timing of its release. The ending is left rather open, leaving the viewer wondering where Philipp might next end up. Maybe there was supposed to be a sequel? We'll never know, I guess.

And yes, he does look good in a pair of jeans.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



East Germany



Release Date:

10 November 1989 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Каминг-аут See more »

Filming Locations:

Bebelplatz, Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed