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Out in Ost-Berlin - Lesben und Schwule in der DDR

93 min.
Year of Production:
Production Company:
Galeria Alaska Productions
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Documentary Film

Unlike the Federal Republic, by 1968 homosexuality was already de-criminalised in the German Democratic Republic’s penal code. But the ‘workers’ and farmers’ state' did not exactly welcome its gay and lesbian citizens with open arms; their sexuality was taboo and they were often marginalised from public life. The ‘bewitched’ generation that had seen the war and were now trying to live lives of inconspicuous normality felt threatened by younger homosexuals who came out and demanded spaces in which to express themselves. Thirteen moving biographies depict the private and political developments that led to opposition against the state apparatus. The founders of East Berlin’s LGBT movement, the ‘Terrorlesben’ from Prenzlauer Berg, gay Communists and church groups – they all wanted to change the system and hoped for a society in which they could be more open about their sexuality. When the first homosexuals began applying to leave the GDR they became a problem and ‘Stasi Romeos’ began schmoozing young gay men. Archive footage from broadcast news and excerpts from old GDR newsreels illustrate the historical dimension of these individual biographies.


Born in Darmstadt, Germany in 1960, he studied film at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg and also in Bologna between 1981 and 1987. He has worked as a freelance writer, journalist, director and producer for film and television. In 1994 he founded his own production company, Galeria Alaska Productions. Between 2007 and 2010 he was editor-in-chief and deputy director of programming at TIMM TV channel. Out in Ost-Berlin – Lesben und Schwule in der DDR (Out in East Berlin – Lesbians and Gays in the GDR) screened in Panorama in 2013, and Der Ost-Komplex (The GDR Complex) in 2016.

FILMOGRAFIE Jochen Hick (selection)

2017 Mein wunderbares West-Berlin  2016 Der Ost-Komplex  2013 Out in Ost-Berlin - Lesben und Schwule in der DDR  2009 The Good American  2008 EAST/WEST - Sex & Politics  2005 Cycles Of Porn - Sex/Life in L.A. - Part 2  2003 Ich kenn keinen – Allein unter Heteros  2000 No One Sleeps  1998 Sex/Life in L.A  1995 Menmaniacs - The Legacy of Leather  1992 Willkommen in Dom  1991 Willkommen im Dom 

BIOGRAFIE Andreas Strohfeldt

Born in 1962, he studied in Moscow before moving to Saint Petersburg where he organised Queer Cinema screenings and retrospectives. He has written and directed various short films.

FILMOGRAFIE Andreas Strohfeldt (selection)

2013 Out in Ost-Berlin - Lesben und Schwule in der DDR  2011 Transglobal   2011 DDR unterm Regenbogen  2010 From Here to Timbuktu   2008 MAPa 

Jochen Hick IMDb
Andreas Strohfeldt IMDb
Interview with Andreas Strohfeldt & Jochen Hick

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