Catalogue of films in program.
Three young flatmates from Tel Aviv, two guys and a girl, try to put aside political conflicts and focus on their lives and loves, thus living in an escapist „bubble“. Flamboyant Yali manages a trendy café, headstrong Lulu works in a boutique and music store clerk Noam spends his weekends serving in the National Gard at checkpoints. When Noam falls in love with a young Palestinian, they decide to help him to stay illegally in Tel Aviv. They celebrate their peaceful coexistence at a beach party, but their utopia is shattered by the political and social realities of the Middle East.
Mark and Alex, a pair of blond twins, are born into a beautiful home in an American suburb. This family idyll does not last long, however. Their parents' marriage breaks up. Puberty brings with it the realisation that the boys are not heterosexual and their adolescence is marked by drugs, sexual assault and, ultimately, a joint–suicide attempt. The twins were forcibly separated and now they are trying to re–establish their connection with each other after years apart. Alex is now Clair. She is undergoing a sex change and Mark has to learn to accept that he no longer has an identical brother.
A young drag queen loses the will to live and to perform after the suicide of his lover. Under the influence of his sister whom he hasn’t seen for a long time, he resignedly returns to his sunny home-town of Porto. There he meets his ex-fiancée, estranged father and finally his nephew who suffers from Down syndrome, yet has an incredible and spreading joy from life and a determined ambition to become a theatre actor. A beautiful film about hope, reconciliation and overcoming obstacles with great actors’ performances, precise dialogues on the border of tragic and gentle humor and beauty of images and music..
ČT Forum: 13. komnata presents two documentary films about famous personalities, whose lives were influenced by varying sexual orientation. After the Prague screening, there will be a Q&A with the protagonists Milan Hein and journalist Jana Ciglerová.
Q is a queer multicultural program of Czech television. Every week it brings to television screens an overview of the Czech and international queer scene, deals with a wide spectrum of topics from politics, lifestyle, to peripheral types of art. After the presentation of two chosen segments, a talk with the creator follows.
In a land far far away a boy was born. And because it was in the Jewish state, his parents had him circumcised. The boy grew into a man and found a beloved from a far away land. On his wedding night he found out that his husband has something that he was missing. He decides to find it. An amusing documentary from Oded Lotan examines the meaning of circumcision in contemporary Israel and the relationship between tradition and personal identity. The director, also the main protagonist of the film, during his search touches upon universal themes such as ones relationship to ritual, fear of exclusion, and the need to belong.
A light Spanish comedy with an Almodóvar flavor. A humorous portrait of the famous Madrid gay district Chuecatown. An pair of “teddy bears” in love deal with the traps endangering their relationship, be they in the form of a muscular and seemingly perfect Victor, who kills elderly women to facilitate real estate development or the disapproving and malicious mother of one of them. Many more entertaining characters and above all colors, freshness and also morbid humor get thrown in the mix. Because all of this belongs to the multi-colored peculiarity of the world called Chuecatown.
In this controversial movie, Rosa von Praunheim follows men who love other men and radical right-wing ideas. The dramatic and highly informative film about a taboo topic tries to reveal a fundamental conflict: how is the existence of gay neo-Nazis possible, when Nazism systematically pursued and murdered gays? The search for an answer also takes the director into the history of the Nazi movement. One of the characters aptly offers an explanation: „Gays are not automatically better people.“
Stephen Fry, British screenwriter and actor, is setting out on a journey across the UK, Africa and the USA to find out how AIDS is perceived twenty years after the breakout of the pandemic. Whilst in the 80´s the AIDS diagnosis was a death warrant, after the appearance of antiretroviral drugs it seems that in the public opinion, AIDS replaced HIV as a curable chronic disease similar to diabetes. Is AIDS really something you can live with? Which groups are high-risk these days? On his journey, Stephen Fry speaks with doctors and social workers, but primarily he speaks with a wide rage of infected people.
Summer 1927. Paul and Günther are good friends despite of their different temperament and social origins. Before finals, Günther invites his classmates to spend a weekend at the family cottage and introduces Paul to his sister Hilde. Paul immediately succumbs to her charms having no idea that she already has a boyfriend, a cook named Hans, who had been Günther’s lover. In the tense atmosphere the friends make a secret pact, in which love as well as the will to kill for it play a role. A night full of passion, sex and jealousy leads into the events that rocked Berlin at the end of the 20’s.
Nuno is an employee of a factory and a boyfriend of his colleague Melanie. But for a fee and under the name of Miguel — Melanie, who is often mistaken for a man because of her style and behavior, hired him to please her father and confuse her brother. Miguel is also a charismatic young man who after a chance meeting with a very young Jenny, falls in love with her. Jenny likes Miguel a lot but she has no idea that Miguel is actually Melanie. A tangle of alternative identities that Melanie creates to escape from herself starts to entangle. To Faro is grounded in a carefully built atmosphere and prime performances.
A successful doctor, Finn, feels lost after the death of her long-time partner. Getting fixated on her 11-year old daughter, Zelly, she wants the best for her. However, she compensates her deep sadness with a career at the gynecological clinic, riding her motorbike and sleeping with her much younger lover. It's hard for her to take care of her daughter who, influenced by her friends, starts playing hooky and is caught for minor theft, experiments with drugs and runs from home. The journey of the mother and daughter leads straight to self-destruction.
Immersed in his memories, 58-year old Pierre suffers from loneliness. He's HIV positive. His health is getting worse and time goes by so fast. Having lost for ever his long-time partner who was like a father, a mother, a bank and a lover to him, he feels well only in his apartment. But even there he waits for inspiration to write in vain. Maybe a visit to a psychiatrist or a young rent boy will help him to it. In the company of his favorite gigolo he tries with a humorous detachment and irony to fight his life and troubles with the police, family, illness and with himself.
After romantic dinner Rui hurries home from his boyfriend Pedro. On the way he dies in a car crash. Odete and Alberto live in the same house as Pedro. Odete longs for a child, but Alberto rejects the idea and therefore, they break up. Odete throws herself at Ruie in the coffin and steals his ring, a present from Pedro. She worms her way into Rui’s family and pretends to be pregnant by him. João Pedro Rodrigues, the creator of the cult film O Fantasma, slowly and intensively follows a story of hysteria and breakdown of a personality. The film received a special Cinémas de Recherche award at Cannes.
An original, brave, ground-breaking and fun documentary, which the lesbian director Gwen Haworth filmed about her transformation from a man named Steven. She carefully and very openly captures her feelings, reactions of her closest and the complicated sex change. This artistic and intimate testimony is underlined by an original combination of techniques used, from a family archives collage to an animated sequence, while the biggest emphasis is placed on interviews with family, her ex-wife and the commentaries of Gwen herself on her own story and the path to its cinematization.
Daniel comes to Berlin, where he experiences both love and disappointment . He works in a gay cafe, follows the current fashion and the hasty trends of the urban gay community. After some time, he discovers the exotic enchantment of parks and toilets, where gays meet. He meets Paul, whose roommates are showing him that he lives a shallow life. Being an emancipated gay, his task is to come out and stop paying attention to consumerism and sex only. Praunheim´s attack are aimed not only against social repression but also against his own ranks. One of the most important movies of German cinema with the subject of homosexuality.
Ismaël loves Julia and Julia loves Ismaël. To avoid a routine in their relationship they let a friend Alice come between them. When this “ménage à trois” starts to creak, Julia suddenly dies and her loss deeply affects Ismaël’s life. A larkish young man all of sudden becomes a loner rejecting the efforts of the people around him to approach him. Into his life, however, enters a young student Erwann whose innocence offers Ismaël a completely new perspective. A story about love and death combining elements of social drama and musical. César 2008 for best music.
“Home is a four letter word for no other option” explains Luke, a one-night stand hunter. On his last hunt the attractive macho Stephen marked him as a gay cliché, which causes the otherwise self-confident Luke to doubt himself. Zeke, an intellectual and gay activist and colleague from the sex shop where both work for radically different reasons, has to agree with this label. When Luke establishes a relationship with Stephen, he begins to consider monogamy. The truth about Stephen’s true profession however causes distinct complications. Complication worth of the most romantic four letter word.
After his mother’s death, the 11-year old Scot gets settled in his uncle’s house. He and his partner Eric, a former NHL player, must deal with this incursion to their macho, sports-like and straight-acting life. Scot, who likes musicals, make-up and glitter clothes, is finding his place in this masculine home and gradually breaking down the façade of his temporary fathers. Charming crowd-pleasing comedy about parenthood, bravery and search for balance between ice-hockey and passion for feather boa which enchants by reversing stereotypes and the performance of Noah Bernett as Scot.
The legendary transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf in a combination of a documentary and feature film. Born in 1928 as Lothar Berflede, she grew up during the Nazi era with a violent father. She openly acted as a woman throughout her life. She founded the only private museum in GDR and enabled meetings of the rising gay movement. The director shows her as a warm-hearted person and eternal fighter. Though she was accused of collaboration with the secret police after the making of the film, Praunheim´s portrait proves how important Charlotte was for the continuity of social life across dictatorial regimes.
“Love has sharp edges. Wounds keep you alive.” This line repeats as a leitmotif presented by several varied characters, whose stories about searching for meaing in spinning life events compose a poetic mosaic. The plot/s of the film take place in Madrid and they center on Garat and Omar, who want to have a baby. Into their story enter the stories of two policemen who are trying to name all the things they like, a daughter of lesbian mothers who is, after the death of her biological mother, forced to live with distant family, pregnant Raquel, whose husband died of AIDS and friends of the main couple who are trying to shoot a film.
A reactionary sauna owner, whose friend is a student of theology and sings Bach´s choruses, a therapist, who teaches AIDS patients a mortal meditation and gymnastics, a reporter, who dresses like a man so that she can spy on gays, doctor Blut (Blood), who was infected with the virus in Africa, a minister with bad promises, a rich gay, these are the leading characters of the first German feature film about AIDS. A black comedy in which the stars are Berlin homosexuals and transvestites and a satiyrcal descitpion of first phase of panic that hit the society in the 80´s.
Steffan finds out about the death of his ex-boyfriend Martin known under the pseudonym of Hilde. Hilde’s last wish was that Steffan throw her ashes into the sea. Martin’s rich mother hushes up the real cause of her son’s death and prevents the fulfillment of his last will. Steffan’s business goes through a crisis and therefore, he is considering accepting her proposal to gain share of her inheritance. However, the last lover of Hilda, Rex, doesn’t like this idea and gets hold of the ashes. The last symbolic journey of Hilde and Rex, and Steffan becomes a fight not only between the two but also inside of Steffan.
A collector of cult films Michelle Johnson presents and comments on a collection of clips of the best lesbian actions that were shot in B-films cinema in the 60s and 70s. The director creaively files up erotic scenes that were originally designed for the excitement of straight men and she wittily comments on them so as today’s lesbian spectators can rediscover them thanks to her film-theory work. In this (non)serious film about porn not just for intellectuals you can see Swedish wild cats, Italian nuns, playful South-American prisoners, European vampires and other immoral heroines from the underground of erotic cinema.
Six Feet Under, Will and Grace, Big Brother, these are but a few examples of TV formats which feature GLBT characters. The film examines in detail these representations which have markedly broken down the narrow stereotypes of previous decades. This carefully researched documentary puts television entertainment into the context of social events and shows that the evolution of the depiction of GLBT characters isn’t a result of a sudden interest among television community in human rights but recognition of the commercial potential of queer clientele.