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My Wonderful West Berlin (15*) + ScreenTalk with Jochen Hick

Barbican Centre
Event organized by Barbican Centre

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Part of Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Fest

This second part of Jochen Hick’s gay Berlin trilogy is a fascinating historical portrait of the west part of Germany’s capital. A UK Premiere.

This film combines rare archive material with powerful testimonies from Berliners including trans* icon and David Bowie lover Romy Haag, preeminent German gay filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, Teddy-Award co-founder Wieland Speck and techno DJ Westbam.

While Berlin today has a vibrant and subversive queer culture and unconstrained party scene; a reputation nascent in the decades preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the Cold War, the West drew in West German pacifists and non-conformists in droves, among them many young gay men. These men nonetheless faced repressive conditions until the late 1960s, under the notorious Section 175, a Third Reich remnant of the law abolished only in 1994.

The film takes us through this important history, though 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 to the beginnings of techno up and the end of the GDR.

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