Saturday, 6/24/2017

Heroes, Homos and Holy Men

Controversial Cinema

Heroes, Homos and Holy Men

Nebojsa Glogovac as Vjeko in THE CONSTITUTION


Rosa von Praunheim has been the pioneer of German queer cinema for 50 years. His latest film SURVIVAL IN BERLIN-NEUKÖLLN will premiere in Munich, portraying the colorful characters that populate the hipsterfying Berlin ghetto quarter Neukölln: Stefan Stricker, AKA Juwelia, who sings lyrical poetry for the audience in his gallery; or Syrian songstress Enana, who escaped the war in hopes of leading a liberated lesbian life.

Returning home to a closeted life, Finnish WW II vet Touko Laaksonen began drawing liberated, muscular gay men with angular jaws and buff chests – becoming an icon of gay culture as TOM OF FINLAND.

Ein typisches Model für die Kunst von TOM OF FINLAND


Vjeko is a transvestite in Croatia who works as a teacher during the day and lives out his fetish at night. When his Serb neighbor needs help on the police exam, an odd partnershiup results. THE CONSTITUTION is a witty look at hang-ups and prejudice.

The Legionaries of Christ have had an image problem ever since the child abuse scandal involving Mexican founder Marcial Maciel. THE TEMPERATURE OF WILL follows the Legionaries in Germany, offering a behind-the-scenes look at this ultra-Catholic order.

Iranian Ayatollahs are also not known for excessive tolerance when criticized. Shahin Nadjafi, brilliant Iranian musician and spoken-word poet, was accused of blasphemy 2012, a Fatwa was issued against him. Now he lives in Germany in exile. In WHEN GOD SLEEPS, we see his unbroken will and determination to carry on - even as he sleeps with a weapon on his nightstand. Sometimes the biggest heroes are not those who save others, but those with the courage to be who they really are.