Films 2019

Winner

A Dog Barking At The Moon

When the young student Li Jiumei meets her future husband Huang Tao, she is youthful and happy; her daughter Huang Xiaoyu has not yet been born and the secrets of the family are still hidden behind closed doors deep inside the house. Her daughter Huang Xiaoyu is already a young girl when creeping suspicion overcomes Li Jiumei. She kicks down a door behind which she catches her husband with a young man. Huang Xiaoyu is now pregnant and living in the USA; a little while later she returns to pay [...]

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A Rosa Azul de Novalis

Engl. Title: The blue flower of Novalis
A film like an invitation to someone’s house. In his apartment in São Paolo, between making coffee and gay hook-ups, Marcelo’s fetishes and longings are revealed, casually and full of intensity. Marcelo’s closest confidants seem to be books, especially Novalis’ unfinished novel “Heinrich von Ofterdingen”, whose protagonist seeks an elusive blue flower. Marcelo is also looking for something, following the traces of his eventful past. The camera observes [...]

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Beol-sae (House of Hummingbird)

Engl. Title: House of Hummingbird
‘What's the right way to live? Some days I feel like I know, but I really don't know for sure. I just know that when bad things happen, good things happen too.’ Korea, 1994. The South is in the grips of FIFA World Cup fever, while the North mourns its newly deceased dictator. Eunhee registers all of this only in passing. Drifting through her days in Seoul, the eighth-grader feels like an outsider everywhere: at school, where her classmates bore her even more than [...]

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Blue Boy

Young men from all over the world have been meeting at the Blue Boy Bar in Berlin for forty years. According to their website, this is where the city’s lonely hearts, business people and tourists go. One after another, several young men take a seat at the bar, look into the camera and listen to themselves. A contract has been settled, the terms are read aloud. It allows the filmmaker to use the interviews as he sees fit. The men are paid for it. The men tell the filmmaker about their [...]

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Blue Diary

A lesbian spends a night with a straight woman. The next morning, she faces her unfulfilled expectations. Her thoughts relentlessly circle her desires and the indifference with which they are met. In an almost inexhaustible stream of consciousness that is simultaneously obsessive and tender, she relives the previous night which has gone nowhere; just like the streets and cul-de-sacs of San Francisco that seem to reflect her own mood in a deliberately laconic montage. Here, film historian [...]

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Winner

Breve historia del planeta verde

Engl. Title: Brief Story from the Green Planet
‘We’re all a bit odd’, says Pedro at some point in the presence of Daniela and Tania. They are about to reveal to someone else the content of their suitcase: a purple-coloured, child-sized alien with huge, dark eyes. The three friends, who are presently going through a phase of varying levels of disenchantment in their lives, have spent the last few days following a map left by Tania’s grandmother. She has just passed away; her last wish was that the alien be returned [...]

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Buddies

New York in the summer of 1985. What we now know to be the AIDS crisis is approaching its first peak. The realisation is a shock, albeit at this stage only for those affected. It demands a complete rethink in the gay scene, which for the first time in history is functioning with a sense of equality and autonomy; moving away from radical hedonism towards a stronger awareness of the need to care for one another. David is looking after Robert, who is seven years older than him and is dying of [...]

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Bulbul Can Sing

‘Why are you always angry? Girls should be modest. Girls should behave well. You should be calm.’ In the atmospheric light of dusk and dawn, Rima Das portrays the lives of three friends on the threshold of adulthood. Poetic sensuality contrasts with authentic scenes of everyday life in their Indian village, where carefree youthfulness comes face to face with merciless reality. The story's protagonist is Bulbul, whose voice fails her when she has to sing in front of people. [...]

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Compartment

Sex on the metro! The director has taken footage shot in a completely empty compartment on the London underground and married it to the off-camera reading of a pornographic text that includes detailed masturbation instructions for a female rider. The whole sexy trip, driven by musical clinking sounds, is framed by images of a woman in black bandages using a leather whip for self-flagellation. Take a ride on the wild side!

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Daddy and the Muscle Academy

Engl. Title: Daddy and the Muscle Acadamy
In the late 1940s, the artist Tom of Finland began turning his sexual fantasies into drawings. He gained world renown with the publication of his work in American men’s magazines. Gay men began to shape their bodies, look and entire self-image according to his idealised views of masculine-looking men dressed in leather or uniform. His drawings expressed a self-determined lust for life, liberated from any sense of guilt, which was perceived as a counterweight to social oppression. [...]

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Das Geräusch Rascher Erlösung

Engl. Title: The Sound of Fast Relief
After a flirtatious encounter, a young man finds it difficult to organise the hoped-for reunion with the object of his desire. Calls remain unanswered and he is left with only a drink, his bed and images of soldiers in combat to fill his inner void. Meanwhile, the boundaries between imagination, reality and dream dissolve, and a cinematic chess game ensues in which queer identity is pitted against patriarchal violence. Wieland Speck’s first work enshrines much of what would go [...]

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Demons

Ambitious young actress Vicki lands the starring role in a promising theatre production in Singapore. What seems like the opportunity of a lifetime, however, turns out to be the beginning of a story of creeping abuse at the hands of director Daniel, for whom sadistic violence and artistic practice are inseparable. But power dynamics can change . . . In Demons, Daniel Hui plumbs the depths of his protagonists’ emotional states in profound, intricate fashion in both rehearsal scenes [...]

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Der Boden unter den Füßen

Engl. Title: The Ground beneath My Feet
Lola is almost thirty. A successful management consultant, she is constantly on the move between the companies she is tasked with restructuring. Her chic apartment in Vienna is more of a mailbox and a launderette than a home. A hundred working hours a week is not uncommon in addition to five sessions at the gym, expensive dinners with clients and nights spent in sterile hotels. Her career, which she is advancing with cleverness, efficiency and ruthless cunning, appears to be unstoppable. She [...]

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Die Grube

Engl. Title: The Pit
In Roman times, thermal baths were vibrant places of public life. These bathing establishments, which were accessible free of charge, were a pivotal point of social interaction. At Bulgaria’s Golden Beach resort, this tradition has survived to the present day in a spa called ‘the pit’. Even in wintry temperatures of five degrees above zero, the water is steaming and people sit together in the hot pool, relaxing in the here and now before a backdrop of the endless expanse of [...]

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Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse

Engl. Title: Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press
Frau Dr Mabuse, boss of an international media conglomerate, needs to boost circulation. She has decided to create an artificial character who will fulfil all her readers’ dreams, only to then destroy him before their very eyes. She chooses Dorian Gray. Dr Mabuse takes the rich, narcissistic dandy to the opera, where he falls in love with singer Andamana. He also cuts a dashing figure at the Press Ball, and on a journey through the underworld, with the coverage all the while earning Dr [...]

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Dress Rehearsal und Karola 2

A tie or lace? After trying on numerous treasures from New York’s second-hand stores, and extravagant fashion accessories, Karola Gramann decides on a traditional dinner jacket with cummerbund and bow tie. We then see her posing & vogueing to Bryan Ferry’s “These Foolish Things”. These shorts are an early gender bend that evoke Kenneth Anger’s biker etude SCORPIO RISING (1963) and even anticipate the Madonna phenomenon.

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Driveways

‘Don´t you wanna invite any young people, too? – Not really…’ Cody’s summer begins with a road trip. Accompanying his mother Kathy, he travels to the house where his late aunt used to live. While Kathy is busy cleaning out the place, the almost nine-year-old has to pass the time on his own in the unfamiliar neighbourhood. The boy’s first encounter with old Del from next door marks the start of a special friendship. [...]

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easy love

Field experiments in matters of the heart: Seven men and women between the ages of 25 and 45 are faced with the pleasure but also burden of being the architects of their own destiny. But the associated risks and side effects of trying to balance hedonistic adventure with a longing for emotional security are unpredictable. Idealistic notions of individualism and freedom are therefore bound to collide with the fear of loneliness and disappointment. And so the protagonists’ desires often [...]

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Elisa y Marcela

Engl. Title: Elisa & Marcela
When Marcela and Elisa meet on their first day in high school, it is love at first sight. A deep friendship begins which soon turns into a romantic relationship. Nothing can prevent the two girls’ feelings for each other, not even Marcela’s suspicious parents, who eventually send their daughter to boarding school. Years later, the two women meet again and decide to live together. Both are respected teachers, but their partnership has to be kept secret from the critical Catholic [...]

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Winner

Entropia

Three women, three lives in parallel worlds, until the moment a fly causes a bug in the system. The universe collapses, sex is in the air, bras are overrated and the stars twinkle! In the animated film Entropia by Hungarian artist Flóra Anna Buda, colours explode and sensually unleash new possibilities: Thanks to the fly, all that is abstract comes to life and sexuality plays an integral role. While there are echoes of the sci-fi series Black Mirror, the colours make everything more [...]

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Espero tua (re)volta

Engl. Title: Your Turn
Thousands of protestors are loudly chanting subversive slogans. The police react aggressively with teargas and truncheons. The experiences, passions and fears of these Brazilian teenagers are immediate, relevant and all-pervading. In 2015, they began occupying schools throughout the country, demanding education for all. Shot in the midst, using the activists’ own images, this film’s form perfectly matches the explosive expression of radical, democratic activism. The young people [...]

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False Belief

FALSE BELIEF is the love story of a couple caught up in the gentrification of a neighborhood that is wiping out a seminal African-American cultural legacy and displacing its original residents. In 2008 Norwegian artist and filmmaker Lene Berg moved in with her partner, a Black New York publisher, who will be referred to as D. After giving a statement to the police about being harassed by his neighbor in Harlem, D. was arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. But for what exactly? His arrest initiated [...]

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Fear of Disclosure

This was the first film to specifically address the difficulties in relationships between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men. Two go-go dancers assess each other’s mortality while the world rotates and a gay man reflects on the psychosocial consequences of the disclosure of his HIV infection. Video images caught in a loop of restless perseverance. A feverish attempt to make a film to battle the shock that the AIDS crisis presented to a vibrant sexuality. Resolutely, the directors expose [...]

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Female Misbehavior

In four short films, three women and a transgender man talk about their sexuality. In Bondage, Carol, a New York activist in the lesbian leather scene, explains her embrace of sadomasochism. Annie is a portrait of mousy Ellen Steinberg, AKA performance artist Annie Sprinkle, whose eccentric erotic shows give audiences, quite literally, insight into her anatomy. In eloquent and provocative dialogue, academic and social critic Camille Paglia talks about the differentials within the feminist concept [...]

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Four Quartets

He waves his arms in the air while his lithe body soaks up the beat and transfers it to his legs. Raf literally breathes in the music. At the same time he is constantly scanning the room. There is desire and expectation in his gaze, but also anxiety and shyness. Moving to the film’s rhythmic pulse and the intoxicating music in the queer club, we dance with Raf and cast off all inhibitions.

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Greta

The hospital in Fortaleza in Brazil is so overcrowded that 70-year-old nurse Pedro cannot find a bed for his transgender friend Daniela, who is suffering from kidney failure. Without further ado, he secretly takes a wounded young man, who is under police guard on suspicion of murder, to his home and instead gives the young man’s hospital bed to Daniela. In spite of the young man’s past, a tender, physical relationship develops between the caring Pedro, whose passion for the actress [...]

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Héctor

A fishing cove on an island fallen out of time and space, almost like the rocky island in Michelangelo Antonionis L'Avventura (1960). Nature is not merely decoration, but an active force of events. Ships appear in the distance, but do not dock. Here is where Gabriel works with a small group of young men. They amuse themselves in an age-appropriate way, but also talk frequently of the devil and are magically drawn to a cave. Out of nowhere, an androgynous creature [...]

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Heute oder morgen

Engl. Title: Before We Grow Old
Summer in Berlin. Two Berliners, Maria and Niels, and one British student, Chloë, are three twenty-somethings. Drifting libidinously through Berlin, they plunge headlong into a carefree and chaotic love affair with each other. Boisterously living life to the full, they grasp everything and anything they please. Their only compass seems to be the pleasure they experience together – which works perfectly well until Chloë unintentionally falls pregnant. Insecurity and anger, jealousy [...]

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Jean Genet is Dead

Young men find themselves scattered and defencelessly exposed to a merciless sun. Their gaze moves off searchingly into the distance. Deserted places appear to offer vague promises of refuge. On a prison wall, an explosive image of desire emerges, full of hope for freedom. Constantine Giannaris relishes in mixing light and colour with the textures of Super 8 and video footage to express the thoughts of the poet Jean Genet. Greatly affected by the AIDS epidemic, he addresses the desire for love [...]

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Kislota

Engl. Title: Acid
Stark naked, Vanya jumps to his death off a balcony. ‘If you want to jump, jump,’ Pete had told him. Before: a flooded apartment, a toilet in the middle of the room, paranoia. Moby’s ‘Why does my heart feel so bad?’ on in the background. Kislota (Acid), the stylish directorial debut of 26-year-old Russian actor Alexander Gorchilin, begins like a trip and breathlessly continues: Vanya’s funeral is followed by clubbing, drugs and the artist Vasilisk, who asks [...]

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Knives and Skin

‘What is your problem?’ – ‘I don't like it when you do that.’ – ‘Do what?’ – ‘Touch me.’ A small town somewhere in the Midwestern US. For the local teens, high school life would not be complete without football team, marching band, cheerleaders and mascot. The adults are preoccupied with desire, midlife crises and marital problems. The disappearance of the schoolgirl Carolyn Harper [...]

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La fiera y la fiesta

Engl. Title: Holy Beasts
Jean-Louis Jorge (1947-2000) was a Dominican filmmaker and the author of a sensual and transgressive body of work. This film is both dedicated to this unsung hero - unknown to most of the world but revered in his home country - and wholeheartedly embedded in his universe. Aging punk diva Vera arrives in Santo Domingo to direct her beloved friend Jean-Louis Jorge’s unfinished project: a musical film entitled ‘La fiera y la fiesta’. Welcoming her are two other old friends, [...]

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Winner

Lemebel

Pedro Lemebel’s sharp-tongued, poetic texts and provocative performances made him one of South America’s most important contemporary artists. In dictatorial Chile under Pinochet, Lemebel expressed things that only few dared to say. Even for the country’s left-wing opposition, his camp, eccentric appearances made him an awkward figure as he held up the mirror to their own machismo and homophobia. Loud and open, he embodied and propagated an uncomfortable gay identity and vehemently [...]

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Les nuits fauves

Engl. Title: Savage Nights
After a film shoot in Morocco, Jean, a thirty-year-old cameraman, returns to Paris and throws himself into his old excessive ways, despite his HIV infection. Roaring through the night in his sports car he relentlessly pursues quick sex with men on the banks of the Seine, at the same time as loving Laura and being in a relationship with Samy. He abandons himself to his increasingly licentious desires which also engulf Laura and Samy in sleepless nights. All three are exhausting themselves on [...]

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Lidérc úr

Engl. Title: Mr. Mare
The nipple is the power button that gets the 'cinema of the mind' rolling – or is it in fact a reality? An X-ray reveals it quite clearly: a little man nestled between the rib bones. There he lies and sleeps. The male's host goes crazy, but it doesn't help, he falls asleep exhausted. When he wakes up the next morning, he finds a wound where his nipple used to be, and footprints on the floor. The search begins. But the little man refuses to be intimidated or annoyed or [...]

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Los miembros de la familia

Engl. Title: Family Members
An empty house near a small town on Argentina’s Atlantic coast. Following their mother’s death, siblings Gilda and Lucas have moved in for a short time to pay their last respects. In his second film, Mateo Bendesky quietly and magically tells the story of a daughter and a son who find themselves stranded. A bus company strike means that returning to Buenos Aires is now impossible. Card reading, parties and fitness on the beach provide Gilda and Lucas with remedies against boredom. [...]

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Max

This documentary - probably the first cinematic portrait of a trans man - is one of numerous pioneering works by Monika Treut, who is herself an icon of emancipation movements. In this work, Native American Max Wolf Valerio reveals his journey into becoming a different gender. Displaying an extraordinary capacity for self-analysis, he proudly recounts his experiences with the male sex hormone testosterone and talks about the queer community’s hostility towards transsexuals and the adventure [...]

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Mitt liv som hund

Engl. Title: My Life as a Dog
A small Swedish town in 1959. Twelve-year-old Ingemar lives with a dog, his brother and his mother; she is suffering from tuberculosis and is at her wits’ end on account of his escapades. When her health deteriorates, Ingemar is sent away to live with his uncle in the country. Although there is no shortage of excitement in the village as a result of passionate football matches and bizarre events, Ingemar remains a loner. Longingly, his thoughts return to his memories of his family; oscillating [...]

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Monos

Patagrande, Rambo, Leidi, Sueca, Pitufo, Lobo, Perro and Bum Bum. Eight stray teenagers, each bearing a code name, form a paramilitary squad on a remote hilltop. They’re instinctively drawn towards hedonism and ferocity. A messenger delivers instructions from the Organisation: they’re to look after a dairy cow called Shakira and an abducted woman from the USA known as Doctora. But their carefree time comes to an end when death pays them a visit and their position is compromised, [...]

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Monstri

Engl. Title: Monsters
Dana returns to Bucharest but decides not to go home. She pays the taxi driver for the whole night. At the same time, Andrei goes to the gym and afterwards has sex with a man. The next morning, Dana and Andrei meet in their marital bed and spend the day together. Perhaps for the last time. A relationship drama in three chapters that describes the current state of a couple over 24 hours. It is not about psychology but rather capturing moods and atmosphere. Even if the conversation between Dana [...]

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Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You.

The people on the dusty streets of Lesotho stare inquisitively at the young woman, who, like Jesus, carries a wooden cross on her back. She looks back into their faces, at mystically beautiful landscapes, a herd of sheep, and a pair of hands that knit unceasingly. What she sees is rendered more visually precise by the black and white, more abstract by the slowed-down images, it is filtered through memories. A raw voice-over – aware that it is not being heard by those being addressed – [...]

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Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle

Engl. Title: Just don't think I'll scream
The flow of images is endless, snippets of hundreds of feature films follow each other in rapid succession. For the entire duration of this found-footage essay, they illustrate the filmmaker’s voiceover narration, which is akin to a diary covering the period between April and October 2016 and is equally delivered at speed. After separating from his partner, with whom he moved to a remote part of Alsace years before, the filmmaker lives there in isolation, without a car, without a job, [...]

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Normal

Adele Tullis’s formally straightforward but aesthetically convincing documentary examines rigidly defined gender roles and the uncritical submission to the dictates of (hetero-)normativity. Turning her camera’s gaze on everyday actions, rituals and scenes, the director makes some of the situations she records seem disconcerting by juxtaposing sounds and images in a contradictory montage. In long, static shots she depicts girls being made up to look like princesses; a father accompanying [...]

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Parsi

“No es” (It isn’t) is a cumulative poem by Mariano Blatt, which is constantly written over the course of a lifetime. The text of the poem, a list of “what seems to be but isn’t”, to which verses are added over days, months, and years, can cover anything: images, people, memories, landscapes, phrases, ideas. With this list ringing in its head, Eduardo Williams’s film Parsi finds itself in a perpetual movement through spaces and around people. We are [...]

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Schönheit & Vergänglichkeit

Engl. Title: Beauty and Decay
He is best known as the bouncer at the Berlin techno club ‘Berghain’, but Sven Marquardt is also a photographer. Even before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was portraying East Berlin’s subculture and its protagonists in black and white. Marquardt was not just an observer, but was himself part of the punk scene in which he found his models. After years of nightlife, he has more recently devoted himself increasingly to photography and is once again portraying one of his earlier [...]

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Searching Eva

Since she was 14, Eva has thought of privacy as old-fashioned. With incredible consistency, she lives her entire life in public and online, constantly commented on by her fans. At 17, she left her conservative home in a small Italian town and her parent’s problems behind and set off in search of freedom. Like so many searchers before her, she wound up in Berlin, where she is now living out of two large suitcases as the eternal sub-letter. To her Tumblr and Instagram followers, her unconventional [...]

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Self-Portrait in 23 Rounds: a Chapter in David Wojnarowicz's Life, 1989-1991

Political artist, painter, writer, performer and photographer David Wojnarowicz was one of the leading personalities of the 1980s New York art scene. In an interview conducted in 1989 by cultural theorist Sylvère Lotringer, Wojnarowicz speaks candidly about intimate moments in his life, the creative process, sexuality, AIDS, and coming to terms with one’s own death - at a time when society categorically refused to face up to the AIDS epidemic. Marion Scemama, who was a close friend [...]

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Serpentário

Engl. Title: Serpentarius
The opening titles say Carlos Conceição was born in Africa and left for Europe in his teens, his mother stayed behind. She said she wanted to adopt a bird that would live for 150 years, but only if he would take care of it when she died. The landscape the young man flies over afterwards can only be Africa too, mountains and great plains, antelope herds, earth the colour of an impossible clay. A woman speaks to him in voiceover when he lands, imploring him to come find her without [...]

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So Pretty

The lovers are reunited at the airport and soon they’re together in the white bedroom. The camera glides through the space, passing by desk, wardrobe, window and two bodies entwined, the first wonderfully languid pan in a film full of them. One reads to the other, in German, from Ronald M. Schernikau’s novel “So schön” and the passage could almost be describing this very scene, although it’s New York in 2018 rather than West Berlin in the 80s, and Franz and [...]

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Split - William to Chrysis. Portrait of a Drag Queen

A cinematic tribute to transgender celebrity International Chrysis (1951-1990). Rejected by his parents, this effeminate Bronx boy was desperate to be more than just William, and so he created Chrysis. With bright red hair, a voluptuous bosom and disarming smile, she made a living as a sex worker and began conquering the stages of ever larger Manhattan nightclubs. She won Andy Warhol’s affection, became Salvador Dalí’s muse and matured into an international underground star [...]

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Sto dnei do prikaza

Engl. Title: 100 Days Before the Command
Five young soldiers in the Soviet army find themselves exposed to a cycle of constant violence. Rebelling in various ways against humiliation and the assault on their dignity, they somehow manage to seize carefree moments of intimacy – even though they suspect that their struggle will be in vain and they will not survive their military service. Touching each other casually with their eyes and their bodies, they flee into silent imaginings, desperate to escape the mercilessness of a dehumanised [...]

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Synonymes

Engl. Title: Synonyms
In Paris, things do not exactly get off to a good start for Yoav. He knocks on the door of a flat, only to discover the place is empty and, while he’s taking a bath there, his things are stolen. Yet this young Israeli had arrived with such great expectations. He is determined to get rid of his nationality as quickly as possible. For him, being Israeli is like a tumour that has to be surgically removed. Becoming French, on the other hand, would quite simply mean his salvation. In order [...]

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Temblores

Engl. Title: Tremors
When Pablo arrives at his family’s house outside Guatemala City, everyone is already waiting tensely for this beloved brother, son and husband to appear. Everyone at the clan’s villa is horrified: Pablo has fallen in love with another man, Francisco. In doing so, he is calling into question all the values by which this deeply religious evangelical family lives. In spite of resistance from his relatives, Pablo moves in with Francisco, who is closely linked to the city’s subculture [...]

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The Attendant

A young white man visits a gallery of old master paintings. When the museum closes, he stays behind, arousing the sexual fantasies of an older black museum attendant. In one of these fantasies, the 19th-century painting ‘The Slave Trade (Slaves on the West Coast of Africa)’ by French artist François-Auguste Biard metamorphosises into a group of leather-clad gay men. With an activist’s commitment, Isaac Julien takes a look at the sexual and racist dynamics of power from [...]

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The Garden

Derek Jarman had two gardens. One was in Dungeness, he started to work on it after being diagnosed with HIV. ''The gardener digs in another time, without past or future, beginning or end,'' he wrote in his journal. The other one, this film, opens with images of a man sleeping on a desk, his face resting on an open notebook as a voice proclaims ''I want to share this emptiness with you,'' before a series of vignettes begins in which hallucinations of a two-man-Eden [...]

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The Making of Monsters

In 1985, gay teacher Kenneth Zellers was murdered by five teenage boys in High Park, Toronto. In his experimental musical, John Greyson, enfant terrible of Canadian cinema, undertakes a comprehensive, activist’s analysis of the case. Employing Brecht’s strategies of defamiliarisation and an exuberant dose of provocation, Greyson reconstructs both the course of events and the media hype surrounding them in the form of a fictitious documentary that chronicles the making of a film [...]

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The Man Who Drove With Mandela

In 1962, at the height of oppression in apartheid South Africa, a gay white theatre Director was arrested with Nelson Mandela. His name was Cecil Williams. This is his story. This film is an unusually revealing portrait [...]

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To thávma tis thálassas ton Sargassón

Engl. Title: The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea
Elisabeth is police chief of the Greek coastal town of Mesolongi. When she speaks, it sounds like angry barking. She drinks too much, constantly swears and is sleeping with a married doctor. Her transfer from Athens to this small fishing village ten years ago still rankles with her. Her adolescent son Dimitris is all too familiar with his mother’s moods. If she overdoes it after a shared dinner in a bar, he goes home. Rita comes from Mesolongi and works in a factory; her brother is something [...]

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Vivir en junio con la lengua afuera

Engl. Title: To Live In June With Your Tongue Hanging Out
Though he first supported the Cuban revolution as a young man, Reinaldo Arenas spent much of his adult life on the island as a persona non grata because of his open homosexuality and politically dissident views. While his work was banned inside the country, his manuscripts were smuggled out by friends and won prizes abroad. To this day, his novels and poems are absent from Cuban libraries, bookstores, and schools. In the 1970s he would organize secret literary gatherings in Havana’s Lenin [...]

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Willkommen im Dom

Engl. Title: Welcome to the Dome
A rare record of the German Act-Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) movement. At the closing prayer of the German Bishops’ Conference on 26 September 1991, the Frankfurt action group came together in a spectacular protest to demonstrate against the Catholic Church’s - and in particular Fulda cathedral’s Archbishop Johannes Dyba’s - discrimination of HIV-positive people and AIDS patients. The protest made it onto Germany’s nationwide 8 pm news show, the ‘Tagesschau’, [...]

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YE

Engl. Title: The Night
A young man stands in front of a mirror. The night belongs to him. Every evening, he appraises his appearance, attired in a new shirt, leaves his apartment and waits in a poorly lit alleyway for his johns. One night he meets a female prostitute of his age who’s new in this part of town. They flirt and wander the streets, toy with the idea of renting their bodies out to each other and name themselves after flowers: he calls himself Tuberose and she, Narcissus. The strangers they follow [...]

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Yulia & Juliet

At first it seems like Yulia and Juliet are meeting in the school corridor, but then we notice the ventilation grilles in the image, through which the two lovers have to talk to each other. Yulia and Juliet are in prison. Worse still, Juliet will soon be released. But what will happen to Yulia? The emotionally charged drame takes a radical and brave turn. Zara Dwinger once again tells a brief, intense story about self-determined female protagonists.

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Zärtlichkeiten

Engl. Title: Tendernesses
Stories from the lesbian subculture in West Berlin, about being in love, clichés, desire, and conflict—“shot as a narrative, with real lesbians at real locations about real feelings”. Annette has a new amour and her girlfriends want to know everything. But Maria Lang’s film is a sparing with words as Annette. As the director said, “the most important thing in my film is mystery, meaning everything it doesn’t say, the lost mosaic, whose interstices [...]

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