EAST/WEST - Sex & Politics

Not a trace of socialism – Moscow, at least at its centre, nowadays bears comparison with any capitalist city. Wealth, showiness, but also elegance as far as the eye can see – Moscow is no longer a grey city of apparatshiks. However, democracy is still a slow to take hold, especially if the degree of genuine democracy in the country is to be measured by its population’s treatment of minorities. Although paragraph 121, which outlawed gay and lesbian relationships, was abolished under Jelzin, there is little sign of real tolerance, equality or social acceptance. Nowhere was this more evident than during the Moscow Pride demonstrations in 2006 and 2007. The right to demonstrate was suddenly suspended and a violent clash inevitably ensued between the demonstrators and religious or rightwing nationalist counter-demonstrators, as well as the police. Those injured included many Russian homosexuals, but also visitors attending the demonstrations from abroad who made up a large part of the gay activists. At the same time, on the summery banks of the Moskva Hick catches up with gay men and women who discuss the worldwide Gay Pride demonstrations, signs of liberalisation in Russia and their strategies for survival in a homophobic society. In the end we begin to at least comprehend that, for many, the implementation of democratic standards can seem to be a less than worthwhile cause.


  • Runtime

    97 min
  • Country

  • Year of Presentation

  • Year of Production

  • Director

    Jochen Hick
  • Cast

  • Production Company

    Galeria Alaska Productions
  • Berlinale Section

  • Berlinale Category

    Documentary Film

Biography Jochen Hick

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.

Filmography Jochen Hick

1992 Willkommen in Dom | 1995 Menmaniacs - The Legacy of Leather | 1998 Sex/Life in L.A | 2000 No One Sleeps