Trygve Skogrand

Watching some films

Some years ago, when my partner and I visited Berlin, we found these two DVDs in a queer video shop. This week I’ve watched the movies again, as part of the input before the start of my work in Berlin this November.

The first movie, “The Einstein of Sex”, is a biopic about Magnus Hirschfeld himself, directed by the famous German queer director Rosa von Praunheim. The film dramatises scenes from Hirschfeld’s life, and tells the story from his childhood til the burning of the Institute for Sexual Science. As I have read a bit about Hirschfeld lately, I did not learn overly much from the movie, but it was interesting to watch anyway. And it made me want to see more of Praunheims movies, perhaps I’ll find some more when I am in Berlin.

The other movie is simply called “Paragraph 175”, after the German infamous anti-sodomy  law. This is a documentary, and is based on interviews with men who surrived imprisonment by the nazis for being homosexual. Some sat in prison, most sat in concentration camps. The film was released in year 2000, so the interviewed men are very old. The fragility of age adds an extra layer to the touching and horrific stories that the men tells about being imprisoned for their forbidden love. An important film in many ways.

Many of the men in the last movie tells about their early secret love life in the 1920s and early 1930s, that must really be unique material, and interesting input in my project. I can’t wait to get down to Berlin in a few weeks and start my work there! 

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