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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.reportWritten by
As a youth Philipp had an unconsummated relationship with a schoolmate but panicked and ended it. He's now a teacher in a high school and starting a relationship with a woman named Tanja who teaches at the same school. When Tanja introduces him to a friend of hers who turns out to be Philipp's old schoolmate, Philipp's questions about his sexuality resurface. When Philipp begins to explore his feelings by checking out a local gay bar he meets Mathias, a charming young man who is equally smitten with him.
Philipp is attractive and has a puppy dog-like air of vulnerability, but while Philipp is starting to be more honest with himself about what he wants, he's not honest with those around him and in his confusion and panic ends up hurting all of those that try to love him. This makes for a sadder movie than other coming out stories such as Beautiful Thing or the older Making Love.
In summary this is an interesting but ultimately unfulfilling story look at one man's coming out. There are scenes that are over the top and others that I just plain don't understand but this may be a cultural thing. E.g. Several patrons leaving a gay bar have never met Philipp but come up to him as they pass him in the street, stroke his hair and point him inside. Also the bar has gay men in costumes that are wilder than anything I see in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Is it a special event or were gay bars in East Germany more festive than I'd heard?
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