Queer at DFF – Recommendations April 2024

In April, the GoEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden, organized by the DFF, takes a comprehensive look at queer filmmaking and queer life in Eastern Europe. From comedic, dramatic, sentimental to erotic, goEast offers cinematic highlights in the form of feature-length and short films of all kinds. The festival is accompanied by a symposium, discussions, an exhibition, and a performance, all of which shed light on queerness in the past, present, and future. Additionally, in April, the LICHTER Filmfest in Frankfurt takes place again, a cooperation partner of the DFF, featuring queer films (all shown at the Eldorado Kino) which we are happy to list below.

In addition to films and events with explicitly non-heteronormative themes, this overview also highlights content that has a queer subtext or may be of interest to parts of the LGBTQIA+ community for other reasons. It is worth visiting this page regularly, as additional program items may be added at short notice throughout the month.

Southern Lights on Tour in Wiesbaden

At the DFF Cinema

Tuesday, April 16 | 8 p.m., Caligari FilmBühne
LOTUS SPORTS CLUB
Southern Lights on Tour
Guest: Christian Rudolph, Project team out and proud (LSVD/DFB)

Cambodia 2023. D: Tommaso Colognese, Vanna Hem. Documentary. 71 mins. DCP. Original version with German subtitles

For five years, the directors followed the LOTUS SPORTS CLUB, a young female soccer team in Cambodia. The team is coached by Pa Vann, a transgender man, coach, and father figure all in one, who not only provides them with a home but also teaches them practical skills to prepare them for potential careers. This is especially important for the queer team members who have been rejected by their families. Although the group is repeatedly subjected to aggressive homophobia and transphobia at tournaments, the documentary shows how the passion for soccer and the strong sense of community give individuals courage and joy in life. Trailer

Sunday, April 14 | 8:30 p.m., DFF Kino
MAD MAX FURY ROAD
Cult Movies Series

Australia 2015. D: George Miller. Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron. 120 mins. DCP. Original version

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the outlaw Max is captured by the warriors of the tyrant Immortan Joe and held as a blood donor for the fanatical Warboy Nux. During a supply run, Imperator Furiosa aids the breeders, five women from Joe’s harem, in their escape. Max escapes during the pursuit by Joe’s troops and joins forces with the women. Together, they aim to end Joe’s reign of terror and engage in battle. Awarded six Oscars, the film’s pace is breathtaking, and its action scenes are so visually stunning that many critics consider it one of the greatest action films of all time. Charlize Theron’s Furiosa defies traditional gender norms, she is a complex character and she is not sexualized in the least, making the film feel like a liberation story for women. Trailer

LICHTER Filmfest

The DFF is one of the venues for the LICHTER Film Festival every year. The queer films listed below are all screened at the Eldorado Film Theater. An overview of the films from the festival program that are showing at the DFF cinema can be found here.

Wednesday, April 18 | 8:15 p.m., Eldorado Filmtheater
FOREIGN LANGUAGE (LANGUE ETRANGERE)
LICHTER FILMFEST

France/Germany/Belgium 2024. D: Claire Burger. Cast: Lilith Grasmug, Josefa Heinsuis, Nina Hoss, Chiara Mastroianni, Jalal Altawil. 101 mins. DCP. French & German with German subtitles

The German-French friendship manifests itself in the teenagers Lena and Fanny. After a long time of being pen pals, Fanny visits her exchange partner in Leipzig but instead of being welcomed, she finds herself being unwelcome. Lena tells her that the correspondence was only meant to please her mother, which shocks Fanny. With the intention to win her affection, she thinks up a long-lost sister who is a left-wing activist like Lena. As a result, the two of them grow closer and after a fateful French kiss, they seem to be inseparably connected. Exchange of saliva and language overlaps and creates something new. But when Lena visits her friend in Strasbourg, Fanny’s lie is revealed and endangers the imaginary shared future…

Friday, April 19 | 10:00 p.m., Eldorado Filmtheater
SOLO
LICHTER FILMFEST

Canada 2023. D: Sophie Dupuis. Cast: Théodore Pellerin, Félix Maritaud, Alice Moreault, Anne-Marie Cadieux. 102 mins. French & English with English subtitles

The young drag queen Simon struts with natural grace across the runways of Montreal’s drag scene until he meets the charming Olivier and falls head over heels in love. Soon, they take the stage together as a duo and electrify the audience – boots! However, his other half proves to be highly manipulative and deceitful. To make matters worse, Simon’s mother returns to town after 15 years of absence, and he desperately seeks her love and approval. Thus, he finds himself trapped between an overwhelmingly suffocating and a noticeably distant love. Can Simon reinvent himself amidst all this chaos and slay as a solo performer? Trailer

Sunday, April 21 | 4:00 p.m., Eldorado Filmtheater
ALL SHALL BE WELL (Cóng jīn yǐhòu)
LICHTER FILMFEST

Hongkong/China 2024. D: Ray Yeung. Cast: Patra Au Ga Man, Maggie Li Lin Lin, Tai Bo, Leung Chung Hang, Fish Liew Chi Yu . 93 mins. Cantonese with English subtitles

Angie and Pat are an older lesbian couple. Accepted by their families, they live together in Hong Kong, having plans and dreams for the future. However, everything changes when Pat unexpectedly passes away after a family gathering. While Pat’s family initially takes care of Angie, cracks in the relationship begin to emerge during the funeral preparations, and Angie quickly realizes that the supposed acceptance from the family does not extend beyond Pat’s death. Supported by her friends, Angie decides to fight for herself and Pat’s wishes. “ALL SHALL BE WELL” premiered at the 74th Berlinale and won the Teddy Award for Best Queer Feature Film. Trailer

goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden

SYMPOSIUM AND EXHIBITION

Please note: The links for purchasing goEast tickets will be added once they are activated.

Thursday, April 25 – Sunday, April 28 | various locations in Wiesbaden
THE OTHER QUEERS – CINEMATIC IMAGES FROM THE PERIPHERY OF EUROPE
goEast Symposium

For a long time, queer cinema, queer art, queer activism, and queer life were considered “Western” and therefore imported into Central and Eastern Europe after the end of socialism. However, non-heteronormativity and queer film images have always been part of the cultural landscape on the “periphery” of Europe. Through lectures, discussions, an exhibition, a performance, feature films, short film programs, and a music video compilation, artists, filmmakers, activists, and scholars explore queerness across the temporal dimensions of the past, present, and future. All program items focus on the playful potential of queerness to envision different, better, and more just futures and societies.

Thursday, April 26 | 6:15 p.m. through Tuesday, April 30 | 6:00 p:m. at Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
POLITICAL TEXTILE
goEast Exhibition and Artist Talk

The exhibition “Political Textile” brings together a series of textile works employing various techniques – sewn and appliquéd from upcycled fabrics, embroideries, and paintings. The exhibition reflects the experiences of queer individuals from Ukraine in the face of the existential horrors of war. It consists of three works: “Anti-War Fabric Banners – Homage to Maria Prymchenko,” based on a series of works by Ukrainian artist Maria Prymchenko from the 20th century depicting the Second World War; “Fabric Book of Items in an Emergency Bag,” illustrating the process of packing when leaving one’s home – perhaps forever; and “Anti-War Embroidery,” based on a child’s drawing.

goEast FEATURES

Wednesday, April 24 | 8:00 p.m., Caligari FilmBühne Wiesbaden
Thursday, April 25 | 6:00 p.m., Apollo Kino-Center Wiesbaden
CROSSING
goEast Opening film

SWE, DEN, FRA, TUR, GEO 2024, D: Levan Akin, 105 mins.,  georgian-turkish original with english subtitle

In 2024, goEast kicks off with a captivating Georgian-Turkish road movie directed by Levan Akin, whose previous work, “AND THEN WE DANCED,” garnered international acclaim and charmed audiences in German cinemas. In his latest masterpiece, “CROSSING,” Akin transcends borders to unite hearts and minds. The story follows Lia, a retiree from Batumi, Georgia, who joins forces with Achi, a spirited teenager, in search of Lia’s missing niece, Tekla. Their journey leads them to Evrim, a passionate young lawyer advocating for transgender rights in the bustling streets of Istanbul. As they navigate the labyrinthine alleys and boulevards of the city, a clandestine network of solidarity and compassion emerges, revealing the true essence of humanity.

Saturday, April 27 | 5:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
A SEVERE YOUNG MAN / STROGIY YUNOSHCHA / DER STRENGE JÜNGLING
goEast Symposium

UkrSSR 1936, D: Abram Room, 100 mins., Ukrainian with English subtitles

The esteemed Dr. Stepanow and his youthful wife, Mascha, inhabit their opulent villa alongside the enigmatic Fedor Zitronow, whose presence in their household defies logical explanation. Equally perplexing is the family’s association with Grischa Fokin, the proud leader of the Young Communist League. This film delves into the themes of free love and individual autonomy within Soviet society and politics. However, upon its release, it faced prohibition for failing to adhere to the aesthetic principles of socialist realism. Notably ahead of its time and originating from an unconventional milieu, the film also portrays unmistakable homoerotic undertones.

Friday, April 26 | 6:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
MARBLE ASS / DUPE OD MRAMORA
goEast Yugoretten

YUG 1995, D: Želimir Žilnik, 86 mins., Serbian with English subtitles

A darkly humorous and queer anti-war film, MARBLE ASS focuses on the lives of a transgender couple navigating the tumultuous streets of 1990s Belgrade. Želimir Žilnik fearlessly explores themes of sexuality, identity, and societal conventions, aiming to dismantle entrenched notions of masculinity and nationalism. Despite its controversies, the film has left an indelible mark, standing as a pioneering queer production from the post-Yugoslav era. Through its distinctive language and bold narrative, MARBLE ASS not only captivates but also cements Žilnik’s legacy in the annals of cinema history.

Saturday, April 27 | 9:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
FIVE MINUTES OF PARADISE / PET MINUTA RAJA / FÜNF MINUTEN IM PARADIES
goEast Symposium

YUG 1959, D: Igor Pretnar, 94 mins., Bosnian with English subtitles

A gripping war drama unfolds as Lucijan and Stevan, Yugoslavian prisoners in a German concentration camp, find themselves under the watchful eye of the SS. Tasked with the dangerous mission of disarming unexploded bombs, they toil in the shattered remains of a German general’s house, their captors stationed at a cautious distance. Amidst the looming specter of death, the duo seek solace in fleeting moments of hedonistic pleasure, savoring what they call their “five minutes in paradise. Within this poignant narrative exploring the triumphs of life amidst the ravages of conflict, the poignant queer dynamics between the two men take precedence, underscoring the profound complexities of human connection in the face of adversity.

Saturday, April 27 | 7:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
DUBRAVKA
goEast Symposium

UkrSSR 1976, D: Radomir Vasilevsky, 80 mins., Russian with English subtitles

The protagonist of the movie is a girl called Dubravka by her grandmother. Playful and carefree, she plays soccer with boys, climbs trees and swims in the sea. However, Dubravka’s childhood comes to an abrupt end when she grows up and begins to distance herself from her peers. Often longing for solitude, she spends her time dreaming and contemplating the mysteries of life. Dubravka begins to observe adult women who exude beauty and allure. And then she experiences her first love – a journey filled with excitement, but also with secret fears and unfamiliar premonitions…

Saturday, April 27 | 10:00 p.m., Caligari FilmBühne Wiesbaden
Sunday, April 28 | 4:00 p.m., Apollo Kino-Center Wiesbaden
FAIRY GARDEN
goEast Competition

HUN, ROU, HRV 2023, D: Gergő Somogyvári, 82 mins., Documentary film, Hungarian with English subtitles

Fanni, recently ousted from her home, now shares a self-constructed hut in the woods with Laci, a 60-year-old homeless man who has graciously taken her in. At just 19 years old, Fanni, a transgender woman, harbors dreams of love, acceptance, a better life, and the prospect of gender affirmation surgery. Yet, in Hungary, official channels for gender transition are closed, and homelessness is met with legal repercussions. Through a three-year journey, the film crew intimately captures the resilient bond between Laci and Fanni, whose unwavering solidarity defies social norms and political obstacles.

Sunday, April 28 | 9:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
KILL ME GENTLY / UBIJ ME NEŽNO / TÖTE MICH ZÄRTLICH
goEast Symposium

YUG 1979, D: Boštjan Hladnik, 99 mins., Slovenian with English subtitles

Lusty mystery comedy. A fabulous old lady lives in an opulent villa, translates crime novels, takes frequent trips in her Porsche and, when she’s at home, organizes disco nights with young men in leather. One day, she’s visited by her niece Julija, Julija’s husband David, and their young lover Adam. When Cita, the lady’s publisher, joins them, the villa turns into a commune of free love. But when the seaside paradise becomes the scene of a series of mysterious crimes and deaths, the erotic camp comedy turns into a bizarre crime thriller.

Tuesday, April 30 | 8:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
I LOVE YOU MORE
goEast Kosovo-Albania Special

KOS, ALB 2023, D: Erblin Nushi, 93 mins., Albanian with English subtitles

Gay Coming-of-Age Drama. After a year of online flirtation, Ben, a shy teenager from Kosovo, can hardly wait to finally meet his first (albeit secret) love, Leo, from Germany, in the flesh. As he yearns for Leo, Ben meticulously plans the long-awaited romantic rendezvous and the necessary alibi. With Leo’s arrival from Germany scheduled for next month, everything must be perfect! Meanwhile, there’s wonderful news: Ben’s mother surprises him and the rest of the family with a unique opportunity, but one that would prevent Ben from meeting Leo. A difficult decision lies ahead.

goEast SHORTS

Thursay, April 25 | 7:45 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater, Wiesbaden
SYMPOSIUM – OPENING
goEast Symposium

Duration: ca. 80 minutes, all films in original version with English subtitles

LAYER
Kazakhstan 2015, 22 min. – Dir: Ruthia Genrbekova, Maria Vilkovisky
A “No-Budget” mockumentary amateur short film. The protagonist narrates the story of her lifelong coming-out as an oviparous individual.

BOẐJA NAPAKA / GOD’S MISTAKE
Slovenia 2024, 23 min. – Dir: Catarina Leal, Eva Matarranz, Anna Savchenko
A rainbow eyeshadow palette. A blonde woman recounts her childhood in Yugoslavia when she was perceived as a boy by others.

REBELLIOUS ESSENCE / UPORNI DUH
Slovenia, 5 minutes, no dialogue
A cat enters the Ministry of Cat Affairs seeking a passport. Everything goes smoothly until the female and male employees inquire about the cat’s gender.

SIMEIZ
Ukraine 2021, 18 min., Dir: Anton Shebetko
Since the 1990s, Simeiz has become a significant gathering place for LGBTQ+ community members from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Presently, this gay holiday destination is under threat of disappearance due to the homophobic laws of the Russian Federation.

Fridady, April 26 | 4:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater, Wiesbaden:
POSTSOCIALIST TIME SLIPS
goEast Symposium

Program Duration: Approximately 60 minutes, all films in their original language with English subtitles.

IZDEU
Kazakhstan 2022, 13 min. – Dir: Nazira Karimi
Key moments of (post-)colonial history in the region and the oppression, trauma, and resilience of indigenous peoples from the banks of the Syr Darya River.

MOLDAKUL
Kazakhstan 2022, 5 min. – Dir: Bakhyt Bubikanova
A tribute to the renowned Kazakh artist Moldakul Narymbetov (1948-2012).

MY MOTHER’S WOUND
Kyrgyzstan 2021, 10 min. – Dir: Gulzat Matisakova
An autobiographical documentary about a generational trauma prevalent among women in post-Soviet Central Asia.

POST-DIY
Armenia 2015, 13 min. – Dir: Lucine Talalyan
The circumstances surrounding the bombing of the queer bar “DIY” in Yerevan and a dissident relationship between two women.

FOUNTAIN ACTION. POLICE THREATEN CITIZEN WITH PSYCHIATRIC WARD
Armenia 2016, 10 min. – Dir: Various
In 2016, a woman is forcibly arrested from the empty fountain at Republic Square in Yerevan and involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

PEARLSHOWER CEREMONIAL EVENT
Kazakhstan 2017, 12 min. – Dir: Katipa Apai
A clandestine queer ceremony in Almaty, a city where there are no safe spaces for gender non-conforming individuals.

Thursday, April 26 | 8:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
POST-YU QUEERNESS
goEast Symposium

Program Duration: Approximately 75 minutes, all films in original language with English subtitles.

ALL THOSE SENSATIONS IN MY BELLY / SVE TE SENZACIJE U MOMTRBUHU / ALL DIESE GEFÜHLE IN MEINEM BAUCH
Croatia 2022, 14 min. – Dir: Marko Dješka
As Matia transitions to a woman, she tries to establish a serious intimate relationship with a heterosexual man.

SISTERS / SESTRE / SCHWESTERN
Slovenia 2020, 24 min. – Dir: Katarina Rešek
Three best friends get into an argument with boys from the neighborhood and are rescued by a prospective girl.

THE GAY LIFE IN KRŠKO
Slovenia 2007, 7 min. – Dir: Nico Woche
Assuming that 1% to 10% of the population is gay or lesbian, there must be between 80 and 800 lesbians and gays in Krško, with its approximately 8,000 inhabitants.

CURVING TOOTH – DAISY BED
Slovenia 2022, 4 min. – Dir: Robi Predanič, Alen Predanič
The owners of a villa play a mysterious game where they must throw small black balls into a magical machine.

A MANUAL FOR BREAKING UP / NJË MANUAL PËR NDARJEN / ANLEITUNG ZUM SCHLUSSMACHEN
Kosovo 2021, 15 min. – Dir: Donart Zymberi
A young woman goes through four phases of a breakup.

Thursday, April 26 | 10:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
NAKED BODIES, BARED SOULS
goEast Symposium

Program duration: approx. 120 minutes, all films in original language with English subtitles

PLANETARY LOSS / PIERDERE PLANETARĂ
Romania 2023, 3 min. – Dir: Colectiva Gaura
Music video Pornopoetry.

MY SELF LOVE / SAMA SIĘ KOCHAM / MEINE SELBSTLIEBE
Poland 2023, 14 min., Dir: Marko Dješka
An overweight lesbian breaks the taboo of female self-pleasure.

FUCK IT / PIEPRZĘ TO
Slovenia 2020, 36 min. – Dir: Grupa Dochodzę (Pepe Le Puke, Szuga Szu, Biczysko)
Performative study of non-normative, choreographed sex.

ZAROSLI
Ukraine 2017, 15 min., Dir: Oksana Kazmina
Auto-ethnographic journey into the body memory of pain and pleasure.

SEXINTENT
Ukraine 2017, 23 min., Dir: Masha Ravlyk, Sound Melnyk
On the second day of their third marriage, Masha and Tonya spontaneously decide to shoot an amateur porno.

WE HAVE NEVER MET
Ukraine, Austria 2023, 25 min., Dir: Zoya Laktionova
The director’s attempt to explore the nature of sexuality and relationships with her girlfriend.

Sunday, April 28 | 7:00 p.m., Murnau Filmtheater Wiesbaden
RENEGADE JOY TILL THE END OF THE WORD: QUEER/SUBVERSIVE CINEMA FROM UKRAINE
goEast Symposium

Program duration: approximately 120 minutes, all films in original language with English subtitles

THE WONDERFUL YEARS / ŠČASLIVI ROKI
Ukraine 2018, 9 min. – Dir: Svitlana Shymko, Galina Yarmanova
Interviews with women in Ukraine who no longer want to conform to heteronormative gender roles.

THE SECRET, THE GIRL AND THE BOY / SEKRET, DIVICHINKA TA KCLOPCHIK
Ukraine 2017, 13 min., Dir: Oksana Kazmina
A girl and a boy in a garden have time and space to break away from rehearsed behavior patterns.

FILM OF SAND / FILM PISOK
Ukraine 2019, 13 min. – Dir: Sashko Protyah
Autofictional essay about a gay community and its communication network consisting of ham radio and DIY dating apps.

DENDRO DREAMS
Ukraine Belgium 2018, 25 min., Dir: ruins collective – Teta Tsybulnyk, Elias Parvulesco
A film about the relationships between people and trees.

REMEMBER THE SMELL OF MARIUPOL / PAMYATATI ZAPAKC MARIUPOLYA
Ukraine Austria 2022, 5 min., Dir: Zoya Laktionova
The director speaks about her two-month experience abroad in a state of two realities.

SEA. WIND. WTF / MORE. VITER. NAKCUYA
Ukraine 2017, 13 min., Dir: Sashko Protyah
An abandoned house on the coast near Mariupol, an overcast sky, and a camera shared by three friends.

Permanently Online

Conversation (in German)
Film scholars Karola Gramann and Heide Schlüpmann about MÄDCHEN IN UNIFORM
In conjunction with WEIMAR WEIBLICH

This classic of early German sound film, and revered as a lesbian cult film, features an all-female cast and two women in key roles behind the camera: Christa Winsloe wrote the screenplay and Leontine Sagan directed. After the screening, film scholars Karola Gramann and Heide Schlüpmann talked about the history of the film’s reception, its personal significance for them, and about a wonderful interview they conducted with lead actress Hertha Thiele in the early 1980s. More…

Podcast (in German)
Das Homosexuellen-Melodram ANDERS ALS DIE ANDERN
In conjunction with WEIMAR WEIBLICH

Richard Oswald’s “ANDERS ALS DIE ANDERN” (GER 1919) was the first film to address homosexuality and Paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexuality. Film scholar Wolfgang Theis talks about the educational film, starring Conrad Veidt, which was not only a box office hit but also faced homophobic attacks. More…

Podcast (in German)
Queere Mutterschaft
In conjunction with WEIMAR WEIBLICH

In the podcast conversation with the Berlin artist Annette Hollywood, one of the topics is why lesbian mothers are rarely mentioned in history, and when they are, it’s often in criminal contexts. Additionally, Annette Hollywood introduces her video project, “anderkawer,” which explores the traces of queer motherhood. A video from this project is also on display in the foyer of the WEIMAR WEIBLICH exhibition. More…

Lecture (in English)
2001: A QUEER FUTURE
International Kubrick Symposium 2018

2001 kubrick

Will the future be gender-fluid, characterized by an unspecified and changing gender? In this 2018 lecture, cultural historian Dominic Janes emphasized that Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” can also be interpreted as a queer odyssey. More…

RHIZOM Filmgeschichte
QUEER CINEMA
Focus

The platform RHIZOM FILMGESCHICHTE explores the beginnings of films. In the thematic path “QUEER CINEMA – Counter-Narratives and Cinematic Experiments,” Karin Michalski writes about an explicitly political phenomenon that does not adhere to well-defined identities but rather subverts, confuses, and expands normative societal concepts of identity. More…

Online-Talk (in German)
OUTING IN DER FAMILIE
Influential Films and Cinema

On the occasion of the Queer Action Days 2022, Olaf Wehowski (LUCAS – International Festival for Young Film Lovers, DFF) spoke with Ioannis Karathanasis (Association of Binational Families and Partnerships) and Josefine Liebig (Alliance for Acceptance and Diversity Frankfurt) about films on the topic of coming out within the family. More…