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For fact sheet PDF click here.
For official Berlinale catalogue page click here!
Link to Wikipedia page about homosexuality in the forme GDR
Link to research article about the HIB (Oxford University).

OUT IN EAST BERLIN

SYNOPSIS (English) - SYNOPSIS French, Spanish & Italian here!

1.
In 1968, paragraph 175, which made homosexual behavior punishable by law, was abolished in the German Democratic Republic. At first homosexuality was considered a negligible, somehow suspicious issue in real existing socialism. The nuclear family constituted the center of social society.
“Out in East Berlin” tells the various, impressive-to-absurd personal histories of gay men and lesbians during socialistic GDR until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Their experiences on the path to a self-conscious, outed sexual identity share one specific perspective: They are accompanied by the watchful eye of the Ministry of State Security (Stasi), which reached even their actions in bedroom. Those were recorded in innumerable personal files. Based on the homosexual perspective, filmmakers Jochen Hick and Andreas Strohfeldt elucidate the political picture of the GDR, in which citizens are monitored, spied upon and whose movements are restrained. In addition, they are called upon to betray one´s own cause: homosexual emancipation.
An exciting, fascinating and vivid portrait of society is created from impressive interviews, situational scenes and historical material never shown before. A film, that especially today possesses actuality and explosiveness.

2.
Unlike in the Federal Republic, by 1968 homosexuality was already de-criminalized in the German Democratic Republic’s penal code. But the ‘workers’ and farmers’ state’ did not exactly welcome its gay and lesbian citizens with open arms; their sexuality was taboo and they were often marginalized from public life. The generation of gay men and women, who had seen the war and were now trying to live lives of inconspicuous normality felt threatened by younger homosexuals
who came out and demanded spaces in which to express themselves. Thirteen moving biographies depict the private and political developments which led to opposition against the state apparatus. The founders of East Berlin’s LGBT movement, the ‘terror lesbians’ from Prenzlauer Berg, gay Communists and church groups – they all wanted to change the system and hoped for a society in which they could be more open about their sexuality. When the first homosexuals began applying to leave the GDR they became a problem and ‘Stasi Romeos’ started schmoozing young gay men.
Archive news footage and excerpts from old GDR newsreels illustrate the historical dimension of these individual biographies. (from Berlinale catalogue)

Synopsis French

Contrairement à la RFA, l’homosexualité n’était déjà plus considérée comme un crime dans le Code pénal de la RDA en 1968. Toutefois, la population n'a pas vraiment accueilli à bras ouverts ses concitoyens homosexuels; la sexualité de ces derniers demeurait taboue et ils étaient souvent marginalisés. Ceux d'entre eux qui avaient vécu la guerre et essayaient à présent de mener une vie normale et discrète se sont sentis menacés par les jeunes homosexuels qui s’affichaient ouvertement et réclamaient des espaces d'expression. Treize biographies émouvantes retracent les événements politiques et privés ayant mené à un lutte contre les institutions publiques.

Synopsis Spanish

A pesar de que en la República Federal, allá por 1968, ya no estaba penalizaba la homosexualidad por el código penal de la República Democrática Alemana, el estado de los trabajadores y de los agricultores no acogía con los brazos abiertos a la población gay y lesbiana; su sexualidad era tabú y a menudo se les marginaba de la vida pública. Los hombres y las mujeres homosexuales que habían visto la guerra e intentaban ahora vivir sus vidas con total normalidad se sentían amenazados por los homosexuales más jóvenes que salían a la luz y exigían un lugar donde expresarse. Trece biografías conmovedoras son un testimonio de los acontecimientos privados y políticos que desembocaron en muestras de oposición contra del aparato del estado.

Synopsis Italian

Diversamente della Repubblica federale, la Repubblica democratica tedesca nel 1968 non considerava più l'omosessualità come un crimine. Tuttavia, la popolazione non accoglieva i cittadini gay e lesbiche con le braccia aperte: la loro sessualità era un tabù e spesso venivano emarginati dalla vita pubblica. La generazione di uomini e donne omosessuali che aveva vissuto la guerra e che all’epoca cercavano di vivere una vita di discreta normalità, si sentiva minacciata dai giovani omosessuali che facevano coming out pretendendo spazi in cui esprimersi. Tredici commoventi biografie raffigurano gli
sviluppi privati e politici che hanno portato all'opposizione nei confronti dell'apparato statale.

 



 

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