Mein Wunderbares West Berlin
dir Jochen Hick / Germany 2017 / 97′ (UK premiere)
Berlin is today one of the top gay destinations in Europe with its vibrant and subversive queer culture and unconstrained party scene, and a reputation that has its roots in the decades preceding the fall of the wall. During the cold war the city’s unique, isolated position included such perks as no conscription for its residents, drawing in West German pacifists and non-conformists in droves, among them many young gay men. Despite this gay men faced repression, from the immediate post-war years until the late 1960s, under the notorious Section 175, a provision of the German Criminal Code that was a remnant of the Third Reich (a law which was only reformed in 1969 and abolished in 1994). My Wonderful West Berlin takes us through this time to the activism and sexual freedom of the 1970s (drag performances in the U-Bahn, gay communes, leather bars and more), the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and the beginnings of techno up until the reunification of the city.
This second part of Jochen Hick’s gay Berlin trilogy, is a fascinating historical portrait of the west part of Germany’s capital that combines rare archival material with powerful testimonies from Berliners including trans* icon and David Bowie lover Romy Haag, pre-eminent German gay filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, Teddy-Award co-founder Wieland Speck and techno DJ Westbam.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Jochen Hick.
Supported by the Goethe-Institut.