In West Berlin in the 1960s it was possible to find bars where men could be left to themselves – a fact that was to turn the city into a magnet for young gay men. The protagonists of this film, all still active members of the community today, recall those early years in the city. Theirs are memories of a community that fought steadily for its existence, and of its change, right up to the fall of the Wall. Faced with considerable social repression in the 1970s, a collective gay identity began to emerge, and the ‘West Berlin homosexual campaign’ called for the abolition of paragraph 175 and the overthrow of patriarchy. Ruined buildings become the venues for new ways of living together such as all-male communes or the ‘queer house’. Cottaging, East-West affairs, leather bars, drag performances in the subway – an anarchic kind of joy outshines past suffering. A decade later, AIDS was to hit Berlin. After Out in Ost-Berlin (Out In East Berlin) Jochen Hick explores queer lifestyles in the West of the city and the roots of a fascination that the metropolis still holds as a refuge – and not just for gay men. A fascinating journey through time featuring previously unpublished archive material.
BIOGRAPHY Jochen Hick
Born in Darmstadt, Germany in 1960, he studied film at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg and also in Bologna between 1981 and 1987. He has worked as a freelance writer, journalist, director and producer for film and television. In 1994 he founded his own production company, Galeria Alaska Productions. Between 2007 and 2010 he was editor-in-chief and deputy director of programming at TIMM TV channel. Out in Ost-Berlin – Lesben und Schwule in der DDR (Out in East Berlin – Lesbians and Gays in the GDR) screened in Panorama in 2013, and Der Ost-Komplex (The GDR Complex) in 2016.
FILMOGRAPHY Jochen Hick
(selection) 1992 Willkommen im Dom; short film, IFB Panorama 1995 Menmaniacs – The Legacy of Leather; IFB Panorama 1998 Sex/Life in L.A.; documentary, IFB Panorama 2000 No One Sleeps; IFB Panorama 2003 Ich kenn keinen; documentary, IFB Panorama 2005 Cycles of Porn; documentary, IFB Panorama 2008 EAST/WEST – Sex & Politics; documentary, IFB Panorama 2009 The Good American; documentary, IFB Panorama 2013 Out in Ost-Berlin – Lesben und Schwule in der DDR; documentary, IFB Panorama 2016 Der Ost-Komplex; documentary, IFB Panorama 2017 Mein wunderbares West-Berlin (My wonderful West Berlin)
- Production company
- Galeria Alaska Productions
- Original title
- Mein wunderbares West-Berlin