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Der Einstein des Sex (1999)

The life story of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, a German Jew, who as a physician established the field of sexology, and fought militantly against German anti-sodomy laws in the late 19th century. ... See full summary »


Rosa von Praunheim

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Cast overview:
Kai Schumann ... Magnus Hirschfeld
Friedel von Wangenheim Friedel von Wangenheim ... Magnus Hirschfeld
Ben Becker ... Adolf Brand
Wolfgang Völz Wolfgang Völz ... Polizeipräsident
Otto Sander ... Prof. Steinach
Meret Becker ... Arbeiterin
Monika Hansen ... Gräfin
Gerd Lukas Storzer Gerd Lukas Storzer ... Baron von Teschenberg
Olaf Drauschke Olaf Drauschke ... Karl Giese
Tima die Göttliche Tima die Göttliche ... Dorchen
Gerry Wolff Gerry Wolff ... Onkel von Hirschfeld
Christa Pasemann Christa Pasemann ... Tante Gesche


The life story of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, a German Jew, who as a physician established the field of sexology, and fought militantly against German anti-sodomy laws in the late 19th century. The script reveals main characters in Hirschfeld's life including impossible love interest Baron von Teschenberg, and Hirschfeld's aids- young Karl Giese and guardian angel, the transvestite Dorchen, as they establish the First Institute of Sexual Sciences in Berlin in 1920, and follows their struggles to keep it open, up to the rise of the Third Reich in the mid 1930s. Written by Gonz30

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Discover the Theory of Sexuality...Relatively Speaking.


Unrated | See all certifications »



Germany | Netherlands


German | English

Release Date:

16 March 2000 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Einstein of Sex See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Featured in Tunten lügen nicht (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Fine, overdue biopic about a true pioneer
31 October 1999 | by gonz30See all my reviews

This film pays long overdue homage to the so-called Einstein of Sex, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. Both contemporaries also share German-Jewish Heritage, and tremendous influence on the the 20th century. Dr. Hirschfeld's work, however has just become speakable let alone filmable in the last couple of decades. Rosa von Praunheim, a former underground filmmaker, has been breaking cinematic sexual taboos these past two decades. Von Praunheim's "made in Berlin" avant-gardism gives him much common ground with Hirschfeld. So much so that major European institutions lent their financing to von Praunheim's first mainstream film. In THE EINSTEIN OF SEX, von Praunheim mixes what is really known about Dr. Hirschfeld with actual newsreel footage of the 1910-1934 period, and adds trademark von Praunheim humor to fill in the unknown details. The true to life location shots (those of Berlin, and the Vorpommern Baltic coast in particular)are used to good effect. The result is a crowd pleaser, as the film's ranking in the top ten of audience votes in the recent Sao Paulo Film Festival (see mostra.org) will confirm. That's where I just saw it, so it was no surprise to see it listed on the Festival's top ten audience vote. Many von Praunheim "purists", however, may feel the director sold out to the conventional European film funds, German state sponsorship, and cable TV companies who co-produced the project. More conservative audiences may feel offended by the contents (though quite tame by von Praunheim standards). Nevertheless, the film is legitimized by the appearance of several of Germany's best-known actors in supporting and cameo roles (including Ben and Merrit Becker of the COMEDIAN HARMONISTS), and solid technical standards.

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