Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay, and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays)....
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A young Jewish girl looking to escape the clutches of the Third Reich after seeing her parents and sister brutally slain while attempting to make their way to England is sheltered by an old... See full summary »
The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and ... See full summary »
Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay, and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays). In camp, he falls in love with fellow prisoner Horst, who wears his pink label with pride.
Having played the role of Max in the original Broadway production of "Bent", Richard Gere was the original choice of the producers for the same role in the film, but having already contracted to appear in Red Corner (1997) and The Jackal (1997), he was unavailable for the shooting schedule of this movie. See more »
When Martin Sherman's play first appeared (with Ian McKellen as Max and Tom Bell as Horst) it caused outrage and much discussion with its sympathetic and frank treatment of forbidden love in the age of the SS.
Here it has undergone a few changes but retains its stark power. Clive Owen (probably not my first choice for the role) plays Max, the homosexual who pretends to be a Jew so he is not at the bottom of the pecking order of prisoners. The way the SS force him to prove his sexuality is shocking whether on the printed page, in a theatre, or up on the big screen. Brian Webber plays his intellectual lover Rudy with some class and it is a brief but touching performance.
Lothaire Bluteau, who I had only seen before in 'Jesus of Montreal', was brilliant in the role of Horst, the prisoner with the pink triangle who awakens Max again from his imprisoned desires. There are quiet and intense scenes between the two that are almost unbearably moving to watch, and are done within this film extremely well.
Elsewhere in the cast, Ian McKellen himself plays Uncle Freddie (but those of us who saw him as Max would love to have seen that portrayal immortalised on screen), while Mick Jagger is surprisingly good as Greta (a role which could easily be played wrong but he's spot on).
This play/film is intended to make its audience confront their prejudices, to shock, move, and inspire them. I think it is an unmissable experience - a difficult one, but worthwhile.
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