In this mixture of documentary and feature film, Rosa von Praunheim portrays the dichotomy of a life split between public appearances and private longing.
Rex Gildo’s songs and musicals made him very popular. His best-known song was “Fiesta Mexicana” from 1972. Rosa von Praunheim tells the story of his life in the context of the gay pride movement, the normative pressures of the Schlager music industry, and the profound changes currently underway.
Meet the director
Rosa von Praunheim
Born in Riga in 1942, Rosa von Praunheim is one of the world’s most prolific gay filmmakers, having made feature films and documentaries for more than fifty years. His 1970 documentary IT IS NOT THE HOMOSEXUAL WHO IS PERVERSE, BUT THE SOCIETY IN WHICH HE LIVES made him a trailblazer of the modern gay pride movement. He received the German Film Award for his 1980 documentary TALLY BROWN, NEW YORK, about underground singer Tally Brown. In his 1990 AIDS trilogy, consisting of SILENCE = DEATH, POSITIVE, and FEUER UNTERM ARSCH, von Praunheim denounced discrimination against AIDS patients and campaigned for support and education both as a documentarian and as an activist. His feature films repeatedly made vigorous older women into stars, including his aunt Luzi in the 1970 cult film DIE BETTWURST and Lotti Huber in ANITA: DANCES OF VICE from 1988. The documentary RENT BOYS (2011) about male prostitution in Berlin was awarded the Grimme-Preis in 2012. REX GILDO – THE LAST DANCE will be released on Rosa von Praunheim’s 80th birthday in autumn 2022.