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1979 | 107 min.
Ticket of No Return

By Wieland Speck

Ticket of No Return

Director: Ulrike Ottinger | Germany, 1979 | 107 minutes | Color
Languages: German with English and French subtitles
Rental formats: DCP, Blu-ray, DVD, in exceptional cases 35 mm
World distributor: Ulrike Ottinger Filmproduktion
(16 mm copy with French subtitles at EFS)

With films such as The Enchantment of the Blue Sailors and Madame X, Ulrike Ottinger bestowed the underground with larger-than-life imagery for lesbian-gay worlds. With TICKET OF NO RETURN she establishes an own category altogether for her work. In previously unseen Berlin images, her star Tabea Blumenschein drinks and experiences a series of encounters with archetypal figures, played by underground icons such as Magdalena Montezuma, Nina Hagen, Kurt Raab, Volker Spengler, and Lutze, the artist patron from New York, as a drunkard from Bahnhof Zoo. Cult cinema!
Bahnhof Zoo plays a second leading role in another 1979 production, Uwe Frießner’s “The End of the Rainbow.” Alongside drugs, homelessness and male prostitution constitute another microcosm in this urban hub. Frießner impressively captures the city’s mood and makes attempts to break free from the repressiveness of 1970s society visible. This ur-film of the homeless youth genre came out before Christiane F – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo.
Camp specialists Walter Bockmayer from Cologne (Flammende Herzen, 1978) and Lothar Lambert (Nachtvorstellungen, 1977) from Berlin were pioneers of German trash. In their films, trans roles for the first time were played freely. Lambert was at times the most frequently presented filmmaker at the Berlinale but Toronto discovered him, too. Dirty Daughters (1981) and Drama in Blond (1984), in which trans coming-out plays a central role, were produced in collaboration with Dagmar Beiersdorf.

With his film recommendations (in UPPERCASE) Wieland Speck traces central themes of social development in Germany. The recommendations are accompanied by additional proposals (in "quotes").