Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes, Sebastian Meise’s searing prison drama is a captivating chronicle of queer history.
Screening across the UK: This film is also screening at Chapter Cardiff, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Glasgow Film Theatre, HOME Manchester, Showroom Cinema Sheffield, Tyneside Cinema Newcastle, Queen’s Film Theatre Belfast. Visit our partner venues’ websites to search performances and book tickets.
Benny Drechsel, Sabine Moser, Oliver Neumann
Sebastian Meise, Thomas Reider
Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke
Austria-Germany 2021. 116min
With English subtitles
In post-war Germany, Hans (a remarkable performance from Franz Rogowski) finds himself repeatedly incarcerated in a high-security prison. With Paragraph 175 outlawing the ‘unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex’, Hans is continually forced to pay a heavy price for his desire to live an authentic life. As the decades roll by, Hans finds a succession of lovers during his stints behind bars, but one constant emerges in his fractured existence – his friendship with cell mate Viktor. Serving a life sentence for murder, Viktor’s initial hostility and revulsion towards Hans slowly begins to thaw, and over time the unlikely pair develop an intense and primal bond. Set across three different timelines, Sebastian Meise’s arresting drama offers a powerful reflection on historical injustice and the persecution of homosexuals, as seen through the eyes of one man. It is a hard-hitting, often uncompromising piece of work, yet beneath its tough exterior lies a deeply unsentimental, disarmingly tender love story that is almost impossible to forget.
You may also enjoy
Terence Davies evocatively explores the life of Siegfried Sassoon, known for his poetry on the horrors of the Great War, but also his love affairs with other notable men.
Paul Verhoeven returns to psychosexual melodrama with this spectacular new genre blend about Catholic mystic and lesbian, Sister Benedetta Carlini.
A group of Spanish trans women go on a road trip and share openly about their life experiences in this warm and honest documentary.