Film Screening It Is not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse but the Society in Which He Lives

Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Gesellschaft, in der er lebt © missingFILMS © missingFILMS


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

Daniel, a young man from the province, comes to Berlin and meets Clemens. They fall in love, move in together, and try to copy the bourgeois marriage. But after four months their happiness comes to an end. In the meantime Daniel has met an older, rich man and moves into his villa with him.
But soon his older boyfriend cheats on him. For him Daniel was only an object. Daniel starts working in a homosexual café, dresses in the latest fashion, and quickly learns to adapt to the ideals of gay subculture. One evening he ends up in a drag bar where others like him find themselves at a late hour. Here, he meets Paul who takes him to his gay commune. The group discusses his problems with him. They explain to him that he leads a superficial life. His task as an emancipated gay person is to own his homosexuality and to have pursuits other than fashion and sex. They encourage him to become politically active and to reflect with other gay people about human forms of living together.
Director Rosa von Praunheim’s attacks are not directed against outside oppressors, but against his own camp: the situation in which the homosexual lives is homemade. The screening of the film on German television was a scandal. WDR, which commissioned the film, was the only channel to broadcast it. Confusion, indignation, consternation in the gay community were the result, but ultimately also movement, action, coming out, and solidarity.

Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt
Germany, 1971, 67 min.
Directed by Rosa von Praunheim
With Bernd Feuerhelm, Berryt Bohlen, Ernst Kuchling, Dietmar Kracht

This event is part of the Goethe-Institut New York’s “Queer as German Folk” series, with which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 2019 as a milestone in the fight for gender diversity and equality.