On the night of November 9th, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, opening the border between East and West Germany. As the Wende Museum marks the passage of 25 years since this monumentous event, we’re also highlighting the anniversary of a lesser-known milestone that occurred on the very same night: the debut at East Berlin’s Kino International of Coming Out, the first and last queer feature film produced in East Germany.We hope you’ll join us as we co-present Outfest’s special screening of this groundbreaking piece of Cold War LGBTQ cinematic history on October 1st in West Hollywood.
Directed by Heiner Carow, Coming Out offers an intimate view of the lived experience of gay men in late 1980s East Berlin. Historically, homosexuality in East Germany was seen as an immoral, bourgeois construct that posed a direct threat to the state. The East German government outlawed homosexuality from 1949 until 1968, when Paragraph 175 was wiped from the books. But even once homosexual acts were no longer punishable by law, gays and lesbians were still forbidden from forming groups or any semblance of a visible community. For the majority of East Germany’s 41-year existence, the presence of gays and lesbians in literature and media was kept to a minimum, consigning the lives of homosexuals to silence and solitude.
Coming Out screens in German with English subtitles on October 1, 2014 at 7:30pm in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at West Hollywood Library, co-presented with Outfest and ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. A discussion with the Wende Museum’s Manager of Collections & Associate Curator Patrick Mansfield, Audiovisual Archivist Kate Dollenmayer, Outfest UCLA Legacy Project Manager Alice Royer, and guests from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives will follow the film.
Tickets are $10/$6 (students & seniors) at the door or online at http://www.outfest.org/weho-series/.
Free validated parking will be available in the five story public/park structure.