Baldiga - Unlocked Heart


West Berlin, 1979. Jürgen Baldiga, son of a miner from Essen, has just arrived in the city and decides to become an artist. Working as a rent boy and cook, he writes poems and a diary. After learning that he has HIV in 1984, he discovers photography. He intends his images to stop time and capture reality. They reveal his friends and lovers, wild sex, life on the street and the camp queens from the SchwuZ gay club who become his adopted family. Oscillating between despair and desire, rebellion and the will to survive, Baldiga becomes a chronicler of the queer West Berlin subculture in the face of his own imminent demise. When he died at the age of 34 in 1993, he left behind thousands of photographs and forty diaries – a unique artistic legacy.
Using poetic diary excerpts, stark images and memories from companions, Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz depicts not only a ground-breaking photographer but also an AIDS activist and committed fighter against the stigmatisation of gay people’s lives.


  • Runtime

    92 min
  • Country

  • Year of Presentation

  • Year of Production

  • Director

    Markus Stein
  • Cast

    Jürgen Baldiga, Timo Lewandovsky, Bernd Boßmann, Ulf Reimer, Birgit Baldiga, Bernd Gaiser, Juliette Brinkmann, Kaspar Kamäleon, Keikawus Arastéh, Volker Wierz, Manuela Merkel, Sakine Meral, Hermann Jansen, Ingo Taubhorn
  • Production Company

    Hoferichter & Jacobs
  • Berlinale Section

  • Berlinale Category

    Documentary Film

dates of presentation

    1. Haus der Berliner Festspiele

      Schaperstraße 24
      10719 Berlin

    1. Cubix 8

      Rathausstraße 1
      10178 Berlin

    1. Cubix 5

      Rathausstr. 1
      10178 Berlin

Biography Markus Stein

Markus Stein was born in 1965 in Mannheim and studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin. An assistant director and assistant cameraman to directors such as Otar Iosseliani, Wim Wenders and Thomas Mauch, he received his film training at the film school in Łódź. In the years that followed he worked as a director, cinematographer and writer in Berlin. He is current working as a film editor and dramatic advisor.

Filmography Markus Stein

1998 The Beginner | 2008 Balkan Traffic – Übermorgen nirgendwo, co-directors: Milan V. Puzic | 2012 Unter Männern – Schwul in der DDR | 2014 Nur der Pole bingt die Kohle | 2024 Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz (Baldiga – Unlocked Heart)