Wieland Speck and TEDDY e.V. present the MonGay Special: On Monday the 8th of February 2016 there will be an introduction into the queer films of this year´s Berlinale and we are happy to invite you! Wieland Speck, the curator of the section Panorama, will present the TEDDY-programme. Entrance is gonna be 7 Euro, discounted 6,50 and is for the benefit of TEDDY e.V.. The Introduction will be in Kino International, Karl-Marx-Allee 33, 10178 Berlin.
Here you can find all the movies competing for a TEDDY AWARD. During the Berlinale, we will post interviews with the filmmakers, trailers and other information.
A Boy Needs a Friend
A Boy Needs a Friend
Canada/ USA 2015
Director: Steve Reinke
In this latest installment of his ongoing video essay, “Final Thoughts”, Steve Reinke ostensibly turns to the subject of friendship. A Boy Needs a Friend delves into its topic head on, in particular investigating the notion of queer Nietzschean friendship. Using his signature dry voice over monologue to tie together an eclectic array of disparate images, ranging from found footage collages to digital animation and cell phone video, Reinke sets forth theories about the identity of Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, needle point doodles, the upsides of owning both US and Canadian citizenship, and the ability of corpses to have sex. “Final Thoughts” was begun in 2004 as a life project: it will be complete upon Reinke’s death. It is a collection of video essays, a stream of ongoing thoughts and provocative engagements. Forum Expanded screened The Tiny Ventriloquist: Final Thoughts, Series Two in 2012. A Boy Needs a Friend is part of The genital is Superfluous: Final Thoughts, Series Four (2016).
13.02. / 21:30 Akademie der Künste 14.02. / 15:00 Kino Arsenal 1 21.02. / 16:00 International
Having been born into an indigenous tribe in the Amazon, Anderson is familiar with painful initiation rites. He is now living with his sister and her sick little girl in the city of Manaus. He has a mobile phone and takes on casual work, but must face the challenges posed by the incompatibility between modern life and shamanism. For him, the two worlds collide on a daily basis: when his niece is to be sacrificed, when a mythical monster appears to him in human form, or when he experiences a one-night stand in a doom metal night club. The shaman has another ancient ritual in store for Anderson, without which, according to the healer, he will be lost forever. With powerful images accompanied by electronic music, directors Sérgio Andrade and Fábio Baldo create a portrait of a wanderer between two worlds. One – endangered and fuelled by myths and legends – is fading away in the dwindling space accorded to it by the white conquerors. The other is loud and exhausting, but perhaps one in which Anderson will be able to develop in a better way. Eschewing didacticism, the film paints a dreamlike documentary portrait of a disappearing culture.
Great Britain 2015
Director: Toby Fell-Holden
Cast: Charlotte Beaumont, Genevieve Dunne, Umit Ulgen
Tina doesn’t know much about the schoolgirl in the Hijab. She might come from Egypt or Iraq – but what does it matter? She would like to be there for her neighbour, protect her from her tough life at home and in the hood but how comes Tina thinks she knows so much about this foreign girl? Dana starts wondering why the blond girl has been paying her so much attention of late. Prejudice and tentative advances collide head-on in the block.
Vienna as a non-stop nocturnal land and doss house, the flip side of its daytime persona, devoid of schmaltzy waltzes and‘Mozartkugel’ chocolates. The protagonists of this documentary are young Bulgarian Romani who have wound up in Vienna due to poverty and the need to earn money for their families, and who are now offering their services at a hustler bar called ‘Rüdiger’ in the working class Margareten district. They wait, smoke, drink, play pool, dance, show off, fool around like young bulls, talk about their meagre excesses, their families and prostitutes, exchange experiences and information about the ‘bizness’. In the midst of a clash of cultures and traditions, they lead lives caught between worlds, between reality and illusion; transitory, deceptive, and fleeting. Gus Van Sant meets James Bidgood meets Pasolini: Brothers of the Night is a hybrid, imbued with a rich baroque semi-darkness, deliberately and disturbingly oscillating between documentary and dramatised scenes. This is no moralising know-all ballad about hustlers, but rather a tender and empathetic hymn to the grim poetry of survival and the solidarity amongst the ostracised and the outsiders.
Even now, twenty-five years after German reunification, historians are still debating whether the GDR was an illegitimate state. In his current work, Jochen Hick, several of whose films have screened in the Panorama, tells the story of ex-GDR citizen Mario Röllig. Hick accompanies him as he visits his parents and his former colleagues but also the sites of his attempted flight from the GDR and his incarceration. Röllig started a relationship with a politician from West Berlin back in 1985 and was arrested in Hungary in 1987 for attempting to flee the German Democratic Republic; in 1988 the Federal Republic of Germany purchased his freedom. Today he regularly talks about his experiences in schools; he also volunteers as a guide at the former Stasi prison in Hohenschönhausen in Berlin that is now a memorial. Hick stays close to his subject at all times but remains neutral, instead observing and asking questions from behind the camera. In confrontations with GDR-sympathisers Rölling is accused of distorting history and it becomes abundantly clear that the battle to have the last word on how the history of the GDR should be interpreted is riddled with taboos and fraught with individual traumas.
Director: Damià Serra Cauchetiez
Cast: Nil Cardoner, Roger Príncep, Biel Estivill, Pol Hinojosa
The heat’s bearing down on the high-rise rooftops of the suburbs. Every day at the same time, five boys climb to the top of one of them to stare at the house next door. Like clockwork, a woman appears, removes her clothes and proceeds to sunbathe in the nude. But this day something’s different. On the roof next door, a naked man seeks relief from the heat under a hose and one of the boys can’t keep his eyes off of him. His buddies don’t fail to notice.
16.02. / 15:00 CinemaxX 1 18.02. / 15:30 Filmtheater am Friedrichshain 19.02. / 17:30 CinemaxX 1 21.02. / 16:00 International
Framed by a grid, an elusive figure performs a number of movements, leaving traces of light on the film emulsion, while short texts are projected onto the figure, obscured by the uneven surface of its body. “In music, a fugue is defined as a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices. It builds on a motif that is introduced at the beginning in imitation and recurs frequently in the course of the composition. Fugue is a formal and physical experiment in order to understand the relationship between image, sound, and movement. The movements and the setting are informed by motion studies that were conducted and filmed at the beginning of the 20th century with the aim to use film making for analyzing motions of manual mechanized labor as well as concepts of biomechanics that elaborate the relation between body and mind as a form of actor’s training. In the film, the movements that are recorded are also printed on the part of the film strip that is read as optical sound by the light sensitive sensor of the projector. What you hear is what you see. The image recurs as movement and the movement recurs as sound.” Kerstin Schroedinger
17.02. / 20:30 Akademie der Künste 18.02. / 15:00 Kino Arsenal 1
Cast: Fred Moten
Girl Talk features poet and critical theorist Fred Moten dancing in slow motion, or ‘dragged time’, to an a cappella rendition of Betty Carter’s jazz standard “Girl Talk”, here reinterpreted and performed by musician Josiah Wise. Wearing a velvet cloak covered in jewels, Moten turns euphorically in a sunlit garden as the crystals adorning his body refract pink, blue, and green rays. In exploring the figure of the drag queen and the mother, Moten and Tsang, poet and artist, remain unfixed in any one persona.
10.02-22.0 2. / daily 19:00 – 21:00 Akademie der Künste as an Installation
Inside the Chinese Closet
Inside the Chinese Closet
Director: Sophia Luvarà
Andy’s father knows that his son is gay but, determined to conform to social conventions, he urges him to find a lesbian who is willing to marry him. Cherry has already entered into a bogus marriage, but now her parents expect their only daughter to provide them with a grandchild so that they can finally put an end to their neighbours’ gossiping. In China, gay men and lesbians are under enormous pressure to spare their parents the perceived shame of having an unmarried child without offspring. Homosexuality may no longer be illegal, but understanding for a life lived outside traditional heterosexual norms is rare. Director Sophie Luvarà sensitively accompanies Andy and Cherry in their often absurd attempts to do the right thing: bogus gay-lesbian marriage markets, agencies for surrogate mothers, price lists for the adoption of newborns and their constantly carping parents who will simply not let up. Both Cherry and Andy succeed in carving out a little piece of freedom. But they also know that their personal coming out will, in turn, force their parents into a closet, since they do not want to acknowledge their children’s homosexuality in public.
Czech Republic/ Poland/ Slovakia/ France 2016
Director: Tomas Weinreb, Petr Kazda
Cast: Michalina Olszanska, Martin Pechlat, Klara Meliskova, Marika Soposka
Olga is a complex young woman desperate to break free from her unfeeling family and social conventions. With her Louise Brooks like tomboyish looks she drags herself, chain-smoking, from one job to another until she appears to find her niche as a truck driver. Although she has female lovers she does not form a bond with any of them; instead she clashes, time and again, venting herself in wordless emotional outbursts and other behavioural extremes. Meticulously composed and shot in elegiac black-and-white this film tells the story of the short life of an exceptionally lonely young woman who turns into a mass murderer when, on 10 July 1973 – as she has just turned 22 – she drives a rented truck into a group of people, killing eight. In a letter acknowledging her deed she writes that she sought to take revenge on the world and on those she felt hated her. In spite of clear indications that she was mentally ill she was executed – making her the last woman to be publicly executed in Czechoslovakia. After producing several documentaries and shorts together, this film marks the directors’ first drama. The film is based on a lengthy period of research which culminated initially in a documentary entitled Everything is Crap.
Director: Piotr J. Lewandowski
Cast: Jannis Niewöhner, André Hennicke, Julia Koschitz, Thomas Sarbacher, Barbara Auer
Jonathan is 23; he and his aunt, Martha, work on their farm. Jonathan also devotes himself to looking after his father Burghardt, who has cancer. But, railing against his own decrepitude that prevents him from a dignified end, his father stubbornly sabotages all of his son’s efforts. Jonathan finds it increasingly difficult to cope until they hire a young carer, Anka, to help. Jonathan and Anka fall in love; her experience of working at a hospice helps Jonathan to gain a new inroad into his father’s situation. When Burghardt’s long-lost boyhood friend Ron appears on the scene his health visibly improves and, although the family sees Ron as an intruder and is against it, Ron continues to stay on to be with Burghardt. Jonathan discovers that, many years ago, his father and Ron were deeply in love. All at once, the façade of cherished family beliefs crumbles and long-repressed secrets come to light – but Jonathan also learns how to let go of his father and to accept his death as something that will open up the path towards a self-determined life.
South Corea 2016
Director: E J-yong
Cast: Youn Yuh-jung, Chon Moo-song, Yoon Kye-sang, An A-zu, Choi Hyun-jun
Youn So-young has contracted gonorrhoea. ‘Make me well again quickly’ she tells her gynaecologist, because she wants to get back to work. In a park in Seoul, this senior citizen manages to scrape together just enough money as a ‘Bacchus lady’ to avoid begging. ‘Bacchus ladies’ are elderly women who sell a popular soft drink containing taurine known as ‘Bacchus’ and offer sexual services on the side. Korea’s rapidly ageing society barely has any money left for its pensioners and poverty among the elderly is soaring. When little Min-ho’s mother is detained by the police, So-young takes him in. The boy, who only speaks Filipino, experiences a rather unique sort of patchwork family in this courtyard peopled, alongside So-young, by her transgender neighbour and a one-legged young man. Many of So-young’s aged former clients and friends can no longer see a way out of their situation. One after the other, they ask this laconic lady, who for years has been harbouring a secret, for one last favour.
12.02. / 20:00 CinemaxX 7 13.02. / 18:30 Il KINO 13.02. / 22:45 CineStar 3 14.02. / 22:30 Cubix 7 17.02. / 17:45 CineStar 3 20.02. / 17:00 International
Director: Händl Klaus
Cast: Lukas Turtur, Philipp Hochmair, Toni, Thomas Stipsits
Andreas and Stefan live a blissful existence together with their tomcat, Moses. They inhabit a beautiful old house in the vineyards near Vienna and work in the same orchestra as manager and musician. Their passion for music, their large circle of friends and colleagues and their furry companion define the daily lives of the two men. But one morning an unexpected outburst of violence from Stefan shakes their harmonious relationship to its core. From this moment on, scepticism and alienation define their cohabitation and represent an almost insurmountable obstacle. While Stefan is losing the ground beneath his feet, Andreas struggles with his mistrust and his love for Stefan. Following his award-winning debut März (March), in his second film Händl Klaus portrays the expulsion of two lovers from paradise. Demonstrating exceptional sensitivity for the male psyche and for the blind spots in all our personalities, this artistic and poetic ballad tells of the fragility of love. Actors Philipp Hochmair and Lukas Turtur are both born theatre thespians and their naturalistic screen performances are impressive.
Twenty-five years after Paris is Burning, the 1991 Teddy Award-winning film that brought Berlinale audiences closer to New York’s ballroom scene, Kiki provides an insight into the world of today’s young black LGBT community, by taking a look at the balls where participants of voguing competitions compete for trophies, and by listening to proponents talking about their dreams and their lives. In contrast to the time when Paris is Burning was made, these balls are no longer born of a subculture but are instead organised by queer youth welfare organisations. The enlightened manner in which the young people discuss gender-political questions today and how naturally they use terms such as heteronormativity and gender deconstruction is striking. The city, the social structures and the gender-political consciousness may have changed since the 1980s but what remains is the desire for acceptance and a safe place to celebrate one’s individuality. Even if coming out would seem to be easier today for some of the protagonists and same-sex marriages are now legalised in the US, co-writer Twiggy Pucci Garçon puts it straight: “There is so much left to fight for.”
Teacher Antek Liebmann leaves his life in Germany behind and rents a place in summery northern France. He learns from his landlord that a murderer is striking terror in the surrounding woods. Following a dark premonition, Antek is drawn into the undergrowth on one of his walks where he makes a dangerous discovery. He befriends his attractive neighbour Geneviève and the cheery Sébastien. No one realises that Antek has left behind a terrible secret in his own country. Only the discovery of a mysterious property to which Geneviève takes him and the possibility of a new romantic relationship present Antek with a way out of the darkness. But before he can begin a new life he must confront the ghosts of his past, conjure them up and exorcise them. The storytelling is like the feathers of a peacock, oscillating between unobtrusive glimmering and striking iridescence. And so gentle summer days slide into night-time terrors or vanish in short flights of fancy into parallel worlds.
Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Paulina Garcia, Jennifer Ehle, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri
«Why they’re still mad on us?» · «Our parents are involved in a business matter and it’s getting ugly. So they’re taking it out on us.» Summer in Brooklyn. Jake’s parents have just moved into the house that used to belong to his grandfather. Tony’s mother has been renting the shop on the ground floor forever. The two 13-year-olds quickly discover their shared interest in art, computer games and girls. Together, they dream of transferring to the renowned La Guardia High School in the autumn. Soon they become allies, not only against the other boys on the block, but also when it comes to the rent dispute between their parents. Attempting to stem the inexorable effect the adult world is having on their genuine friendship, they stage a headstrong protest. Once again renowned Indie director Ira Sachs intuitively explores the family and moral conflicts with emotional depth.
Director: Anna Muylaert
Cast: Naomi Nero, Dani Nefussi, Matheus Natchergaele, Daniel Botelho, Luciana Paes
Pierre is seventeen and in the middle of puberty. He plays in a band, has sex at parties and secretly tries on women’s clothing and lipstick in front of a mirror. Ever since his father’s death, his mother Aracy has looked after him and his younger sister Jacqueline, spoiling them both. But when he discovers that she stole him from a hospital when he was a new born baby, Pierre’s life changes dramatically. Overnight, his world falls apart and his mother Aracy is arrested. His biological parents Gloria and Matheus have spent seventeen years searching for him; they are now desperate to make up for the lost years and spend time with their eldest son, whom they call Felipe. Observed from a critical distance by his younger brother Joca, Pierre/Felipe moves in with his well-heeled new family, who are determined to mould him according to their ideals. But Pierre has his own designs for his life. Director Anna Muylaert won the Panorama Audience Award in 2015 for Que horas ela volta? (The Second Mother). In her new work she explores the mother-child relationship through the eyes of a rebellious son whose whole world unravels overnight.
Director: Mikael Bundsen
Cast: Alexander Gustavsson, Hanna Ullerstam, Karl-Erik Franzén
So, he’s gay. This evening he’s introduced his boyfriend to his mum and later kissed him passionately goodbye in the car. He’s fortunate to have such an open-minded mother – not everyone is as lucky. But she thinks it’s best that he doesn’t tell his father yet. And he certainly shouldn’t make it known in public that he’s gay. A lot of people are prejudiced. Not everyone is as understanding as his mother.
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
USA/ Germany 2016
Director: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Cast: Robert Mapplethorpe, Edward Mapplethorpe, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, Brooke Shields, Fran Lebowitz, Brice Marden
He was a catalyst and an illuminator, but also a magnet for scandal. From an early age Robert Mapplethorpe had but one goal which he single-mindedly pursued: to ‘make it’ not just as an artist but also as an art celebrity. He could not have picked a better time: it is the Manhattan of Warhol’s Factory, of Studio 54 and, following the Stonewall riots, an era of unbridled hedonistic sexuality. His first solo exhibition in 1976 already unveils his topics: erotic depictions, flowers and portraits. He is gaining notoriety through his series of explicitly sexual photographs from the gay sadomasochistic scene as well as nude pictures of black men. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, who took part in the Panorama in 2003 and 2005, were given unrestricted access to Mapplethorpe’s archives for their documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures in which this exceptional artist talks candidly about himself in recently discovered interviews. At the same time, the testimonials of friends, lovers, family members, celebrities and models help paint quite a critical picture of this complex key figure of twentieth century photography.
An ordinary neighbourhood in an ordinary town. Two women sit on a sofa and scratch their pregnant bellies. Four days till the due date. The situation is as unbearable as it is unavoidable. It’s simply intolerable. Masturbation isn’t an option, the clitoris can’t even be reached, and the boyfriend is absent, but he’s boring anyway. The only advantage in having another child is that one no longer has to play with the first one. Artist and filmmaker Joanna Rytel uses claymation to candidly address questions and situations that usually go unnoticed.
Director: Alex Anwandter
Cast: With Sergio Hernandez, Andrew Bargsted, Jaime Leiva, Benjamin Westfall, Antonia Zegers
Introverted Juan, manager of a mannequin factory, lives alone with his eighteen-year-old gay son, Pablo. Whilst Pablo blithely studies dance, Juan is hoping that, after twenty-five years at the firm, his boss will consider him for a partnership. When Pablo is badly wounded in a brutal homophobic attack which sees him hospitalised, his father realises just how far they have become estranged. A lack of witnesses and expensive medical bills force Juan to leave the quiet stability of his life for good and reposition himself in a world where there is discrimination. Time and again his efforts come to nought, until one night on the streets of Santiago he makes up his own rules in order to save his son. In March 2012 the murder of an openly gay Chilean man, Daniel Zamudio, by neo-Nazis, shocked the whole of Latin America. This incident inspired Alex Anwandter to make his impressively multi-layered debut. Demonstrating great sensitivity, he traces in the figure of the reclusive father the enormous pressure that exists to adhere to the fixed norms of masculinity – only to dissolve these norms in Pablo’s dream of living a life that is vibrantly queer.
Director: Roxana Stroe
Cast: Cristian Priboi, Cristian Bota, Iulia Ciochina
There’s a party in the Tokoriki nightclub. It’s Geanina’s 18th birthday and the whole village is there. The neon palm is lit up and the DJ is wearing his golden shirt. Alin and his friends ride up in style in the horse-drawn cart and take over the dance floor. But Alin seems to have something on his mind. His eyes sparkle when he sets eyes on Geanina, which doesn’t escape her boyfriend’s attention. Emotions are running high. Will there be an escalation tonight?
Portugal/ France 2015
Director: Marie Losier
Cast: Cast: Fernando Santos aka Deborah Krystal, Cindy Scrash, Alda Cabrita, João Pedro Rodrigues
In the latest of her series of portraits of legendary underground performers, Marie Losier takes us into the world of Fernando, aka Deborah Krystal, the glittering and poetic performer of the Lisbon club Finalmente. Over the last thirty years, Fernando has been performing every night at Finalmente, dressed in golden gowns. O Pássaro da Noite reveals the many skins of Fernando that lay underneath the layers of his colorful fabrics, and – with the help of a large cast of friends and filmmaking colleagues – lets Lisbon’s legends come to life. Alternating and shape shifting between manifestations as mermaid, bird, and lion, Fernando takes us on a journey into the desires and dreams of metamorphosis and myth: From the bright sunlight of a colorful beach to the haunted shadows of a museum at night.
13.02. / 21:30 Akademie der Künste 14.02. / 15:00 Kino Arsenal 1 21.02. / 16:00 International
Director: André Téchiné
Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Kacey Mottet Klein, Corentin Fila, Alexis Loret
Damien and Thomas attend the same grammar school class. They cannot stand each other and whenever verbal insults fail to do enough damage they take a swing at each other. Yet they could just as easily be friends. Damien’s mother Marianne is a country doctor and his father a military pilot on a tour of duty abroad. Thomas is of Maghrebi descent and is the adopted son of a farming family living on a remote farm in the mountains. After several miscarriages the farmer’s wife is expecting again and, since her pregnancy promises to be a difficult one, Marianne invites the withdrawn boy to come and stay with them for a while. Damien and Thomas find themselves having to live under the same roof … André Techiné has already taken part in the Berlinale Competition several times with films such as Les temps qui changent (2005) and Les témoins (2007). In Quand on a 17 ans he explores what it is like to grow up in different social environments in this portrait of two confused youths trying to govern their emotions. A rugged village in the mountains of south-western France as the seasons pass becomes the psychological landscape of the relationship between two young men which vacillates between disdain and attraction.
14.02. / 22:00 Berlinale Palast 15.02. / 15:00 Friedrichstadt-Palast 15.02. / 21:00 Haus der Berliner Festspiele 19.02. / 09:30 Friedrichstadt-Palast 21.02. / 19:30 Berlinale Palast
Chile/ Argentinia 2016
Director: Pepa San Martin
Cast: Mariana Loyola, Julia Lübbert, Agustina Muñoz, Emilia Ossandó
«So … do your Mom and Lia kiss in public?» · «Sometimes. Not that much.» Since their parents split up, Sara and her younger sister live with their mother, whose new partner is a woman. Everyday life for the four of them is hardly any different than it is for other families. The situation is actually totally fine with Sara. But not everyone sees it that way – her father in particular has his doubts. As Sara’s 13th birthday approaches, she’s feeling rather overwhelmed: her first crush, a body in the midst of changes and to top it off, conflicts over loyalty with her parents … Everything feels wrong. The empathetic feature-length debut of director Pepa San Martín is based on a true story.
Ghana/ USA 2016
Director: Akosua Adoma Owusu
Cast: Kwame Edwin Otu
This epistolary film invites us into the unsettling life of a young Ghanaian man struggling to reconcile his love for his mother with his love for the same-sex desire amid the increased tensions incited by same-sex politics in Ghana. Focused on a letter that is ultimately filled with hesitation and uncertainity, Reluctantly Queer both disrobes and questions what it means to be queer for this time in this space.
Hong Kong, China 2016
Director: Jordan Schiele
Cast: Huang Lu, Tian Mu Chen, Luo Lanshan, Xing Dan Wen
Endless dog days of summer weigh heavily on the impoverished suburb of Changsha where a young mother, Lulu, works as a dancer in a cheap nightclub. Coming home late one night, she discovers that her boyfriend Bai Long has disappeared with their baby. Her desperate search takes her to a transvestite bar where gay man Sunny is performing; he knows the whereabouts of the child’s father. A deal is struck between the odd couple whose lives are now fatefully intertwined: Lulu wants her child back and, in return, agrees to not stand in the way of Bai Long’s and Sunny’s homosexual relationship. In a hotel in Shanghai events come to a head as emotional and erotic trials and tribulations pile up. It transpires that, pretending the child’s mother had died, Bai Long has now sold his son to a wealthy couple, a doctor and his wife. What does the future hold for Lulu and her child?
For her ‘Blond Ambition’ tour in 1990, pop superstar Madonna was looking for performers who knew how to vogue. Out of countless hopefuls, the gay dancers Salim, Kevin, Carlton, José, Luis and Gabriel were chosen along with breakdancer Oliver, the only straight guy. The tour was accompanied by a film crew and Madonna cast herself in the role of mother figure of her stage family. The boys soon found fans among homosexual youths who saw them as role models, while the tour came to epitomise Madonna’s commitment to gay liberation and the acknowledgement of AIDS. But the idyll fell apart when Gabriel, Kevin and Oliver sued against their involuntary outing as gay men brought about by the film In Bed with Madonna. In 1995 Gabriel died of AIDS-related illness, while the others continued to pursue their professional careers. Now, twenty-five years after their time together, the six surviving performers are reunited and long-buried secrets are aired. The filmmakers excel at telling the stories of these very different dancers whilst carefully calling into question the official version of events in order to edge closer to the truth.
Great Britain 2015
Director: Siri Rødnes
Cast: Lily Graham, Mori Christian, George Anton, Reanne Farley
Why should a girl’s Easter bonnet look any different than the ones the boys wear? Ollie is eight years old and crazy about football and the gunslingers of the Wild West. When it comes time to get ready for the traditional Easter parade at school, Ollie categorically refuses to accept conventional gender roles. With the support of her parents, Ollie finds her own very personal way of dealing with the situation in the end.
“All who want me would like to eat me up. But I am too expansive and am open to all sides, desire this here and that there.” The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven “The Baroness is not a futurist. She is the future.” Marcel Duchamp “The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, née Plötz, was an unsung member of the New York Dada Movement. She was a poet, artist, vaudeville performer, runaway, rabble-rouser, cross-dresser, and all around public provocateur. She actively did not fit into her historical moment, and like most misfits, suffered for it. As with many women artists throughout history, her cultural legacy has been obscured and in some instances appropriated into the oeuvres of better-known male peers. Some researchers believe that the Baroness was the artist behind “Fountain,” the ready-made urinal attributed to Duchamp. The Lamps details her trip to the Naples Archeological Museum in the early 1900s where she breaks into “Il Gabinetto Segretto,“ a secret room filled with erotic objects from Pompeii.” Shelly Silver
17.02. / 20:30 Akademie der Künste 18.02. / 15:00 Kino Arsenal 1 20.02. / 16:00 CinemaxX 5 21.02. / 16:00 International
Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau
Director: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Cast: Geoffrey Couët, François Nambot
Théo and Hugo encounter each other’s bodies in a sex club. They talk, things blur into the haziness of unbridled desire, then take shape for a moment as their gaze meets before they resume their exploration and lose themselves anew. A few moments later the two men feel the need to go outside. Together they drift down the deserted streets of nocturnal Paris. Suddenly they find themselves confronted by a sense of reality that wipes out their freedom and aimlessness and lends each step an existential helplessness. Do they want to know more about each other? Will their trust be rewarded? What are their expectations? Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau display consummate sensitivity in bringing us closer to two men as they strive for intimacy in spite of being stalled by their insecurity. Their two leading actors delight us with their remarkably intuitive performances and their incredible charm.
Director: Martin Hawie
Cast: Paul Wollin, Miguel Dagger, Leni Speidel, Kelvin Kilonzo
An unequal friendship. Toro (25) is as disciplined as he is withdrawn. In contrast Victor (29) is a light-headed dreamer who careers more or less heedlessly through life. Both work as prostitutes. Toro services women, Victor men. Toro, whose real name is Piotr, cameto Germany ten years ago. He knows exactly what he is working for: he wants to establish a boxing school back in Poland. And soon he will have enough money to do so. The only thing he wants to take with him from Germany is Victor so they can dare to embark upon a new life together. Victor knows all about Toro’s plans but cannot take them seriously because he is far too busy keeping his dealers, to whom he owes money, at bay. TORO is the story of two highly contrasting characters who take hugely different approaches to trying to fight their way out of an ignoble life on the margins. They could be each other’s last chance to save themselves from plunging off the precipice and into the abyss of the apocalypse which would consume everything else along with them and cast the world into eternal sin.
Great Britain/ USA 2016
Director: Aaron Brookner
Cast: Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver, Tom DiCillo, Brad Gooch, Frederic Mitterand
After Howard Brookner, director of two documentaries and a feature film, died from AIDS related illnesses at the age of 34 in 1989, his slender oeuvre was in danger of being forgotten – until his nephew Aaron decided to preserve his uncle’s legacy and to digitalise his first film, the cult classic Burroughs: The Movie (1983). This endeavour led to the discovery of a number of other gems stored in the godfather of Beat’s legendary ‘bunker’ in New York’s Bowery district. This rich archive of material, shot by film maniac Brookner from 1978 until the end of the 1980s, represents a unique document of the decade’s incredibly vibrant art and gay scene in downtown New York. Aaron Brookner’s film Uncle Howard takes us on an adventurous, artistic and very personal journey back in time, accompanied by conversations with both relatives and his uncle’s close friends (including Robert Wilson, Jim Jarmusch, Brad Gooch and James Grauerholz). The resulting film is a powerful and loving portrait of an artist who left this world far too soon.
South Corea 2016
Director: Dong-ha Lee
Cast: Jaewoo, Sander, Jonggirl, Namypooh, Gang
Every weekend the gay male choir G-Voice rehearses in Seoul – as they have been doing since 2003. The choir, being a kind of antidote to homophobic Korean society, makes the everyday lives of gay men its theme in an intelligent and humorous way. For their tenth anniversary, the members are planning to give their first big concert with ambitious arrangements, creative choreographies and many new pieces. This really puts these amateur singers to the test because the enthusiasm of some members outweighs their vocal abilities, whilst others work themselves into the ground as voluntary organisers. Besides preparing for their big day, G-Voice are also politically active, singing for equality and serenading against discrimination, and not just at LGBTQ demos. Director Lee Dong-hasucceeds, almost incidentally, in giving an insight into gay life in Korea. He also accompanies choir members and organisers after the rehearsals, when conversations become more personal over a meal. Filmed in the style of glossy music videos, G-Voices’ set-pieces provide a commentary, among other things, on the men’s experiences of Korean society, their conservative families and a gay joy of life.
Great Britain/ Israel 2016
Director: Tomer Heymann, Barak Heymann, Alexander Bodin Saphir
Saar has never fulfilled his parents’ expectations. Ever since he defied the rules of his kibbutz and was barred from the settlement community seventeen years ago, as far as his family is concerned, he simply does not exist. He left Israel to live freely as a gay man in London. When a three-year relationship ended, he threw himself into an excess of sex and drugs until he was diagnosed with HIV and was forced to rethink his life. He has finally found a home singing in the London Gay Men’s Chorus where music is giving him the courage for a reunion with his family. This film provides a sensitive, humorous and charming record of how the now forty-year old protagonist and his estranged parents and siblings set off to confront their disagreements and fears. Unexpected warmth and deep rejection become equally challenging. Incidentally, Saar’s intensely personal story also illuminates the fascinating diversity of a communal way of life that is pervaded by culture and religion; he also inspires us with the sincerity of his search for his identity. The film’s numerous energetic and emotional choral scenes lend passionate expression to his message.
Poland/ Sweden 2016
Director: Tomasz Wasilewski
Cast: Julia Kijowska, Magdalena Cielecka, Dorota Kolak, Marta Nieradkiewicz, Lukasz Simlat,Andrzej Chyra, Tomek Tyndyk
It is the beginning of the 1990s and Polish society is trying to redefine itself after years of stagnation. Schools are being named ‘Solidarno ’, the first West German spa visitors are bringing hard currency into the country, porn videos are doing the rounds and TV constantly repeats images of the trial of Rumanian dictator Ceausescu. But private emotions remain untouched by these external changes: all the hopes and longings, caught between work, family and religion, desire and abstinence. Tomasz Wasilewski portrays four women in a small provincial town. Agata is attracted to a priest and secretly observes him. Iza is a head teacher who has been having a long-standing affair with a married doctor. Russian language teacher Renata seeks a closer relationship with her young neighbour Marzena who teaches sports and dance, while Marzena herself dreams of an international career as a model. Shot in desaturated colours and with a muted production design, this drama reflects upon the attempts to escape an anti-pleasure, body-hating environment. Wasilewski’s subject is the death throes of a society – and the emotional impoverishment of the individual.
Fifteen years after Monika Treut portrayed human rights activist Yvonne Bezerra de Mello working with street kids in Kriegerin des Lichts (Warrior of Light, Panorama 2002), she returns to Rio de Janeiro to document the development and sustainability of the alternative educational project, Uerê. Every day, de Mello provides meals for around 250 children in her institution and offers them a loving, secure and effective learning environment. Her alternative approach to teaching enables the children to overcome learning disabilities that have resulted from experiences of severe violence. In the meantime, the preparations for the Olympic Games and heavy military intervention against the inhabitants of the favelas have created conditions akin to a civil war. Staying very close to her protagonists and employing a sensitive visual approach, Treut examines the effects of urban sociological changes. In Zona Norte she sets off in search of the protagonists of her earlier film. The schoolchildren she portrayed in 2001 seemed to have no future, but her re encounter with them demonstrates how, in the long run, de Mello’s project has given these children a better chance in life.