Archive for the ‘rosa von praunheim’ Category

raus aus den klappen, rein in die strassen

October 19, 2007

raus aus den klappen, rein in die strassen – get out the tearooms, into the streets

this was the battle cry for the gay liberation movement in germany. so we finally get out of the tearooms – but stay in berlin, although we go back in time another 10 years.

time for another gay german movie which is a classic: nicht der homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die situation in der er lebt (it is not the homosexual who is perverse, but the society in which he lives) from 1971.


well, the story of the movie is a history of development (yeah, some kind of gay simplicissimus): young man from the countryside comes to town, gets sugardaddy, realizes sugardaddy only uses him, gets into gay subculture (read: fashion and sex), is unhappy – and then finally finds political gays in some kind of kommune, discussing the superficiality of gay life and how to lead a meaningful life and change society. well, it is quite a while ago i saw the movie – so i hope the synopsis is more or less correct. but if i remember correctly, the above mentioned slogan appears also in this movie.

it is one of the very early movies of rosa von praunheim, the granddaddy (hey, he says he is a senior) of gay liberation and (german) gay cinema. always a controversial man, i already had the feeling seeing nicht der homosexuelle ist pervers… that this movie was also about criticizing society in general, but especially criticizing the gay community. something he still does – with great eloquence and sometimes even aggressivly so.

rosa von praunheim is extremly productive. he roughly makes two movies a year, and books, and expositions, and some other stuff, too. he did in the 1980’s an interesting trilogy about aids (music by diamanda galas, interviews with keith haring, david wojnarowicz etc.)- contrasting new york with germany (and criticizing the situation in germany heavily). he did a couple of movies with lotti huber, a “star” of the berlin cabaret, underground scene that got actually known through working with rosa. he did two successfull biopics: one about dr. magnus hirschfeld, and one about charlotte von mahlsdorf. and he did also a very interesting documentary about gays as / gays and (neo)nazis. so a lot to discover. have a look at his website, where you also can order his films on vhs.

and if you are interested in german gay politics of the 1970s, especially in berlin, then there is an interesting article (in german) to read here.

and if you want even some more information: the german gay magazine siegessäule ran in 1999 a series of articles called 100 jahre. here the link to 100 jahre metropole (meaning berlin). other topics are integration, körper, party, outfit, lebensformen, kommerz, drogen, verfolgung, sex. yep, all in german.

so get your little history lesson now.