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Schweigen = Tod

55 min.
Year of Production:
David Wojnarowicz
Rafael Gamba
Paul Smith
Peter Kunz
Don Moffet
Keith Haring
Allen Ginsberg
Emilio Cubiero
Bern Boyle
Production Company:
Rosa von Praunheim Filmproduktion
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Documentary Film
Teddy Award:
Teddy Jury Award

Director Rosa von Praunheim explores the reactions of New York City's artistic community to the ravages of the AIDS epidemic and other issues of homosexuality in this haunting documentary. In SILENCE=DEATH, viewers witness a wide range of emotions, including anger, fear, and longing. An important historical document, this film captures these emotions and more in poignant fashion. Artist David Wajnarowicz appears in an unforgettable segment, shaking with anger as he confronts the diseased society that has turned its back on him and all other AIDS victims. Painter Rafael Gamba provides a vengeful indictment of homophobic bigotry. Other segments include Keith Haring sharing his nostalgic longing for the days of carefree sex and Allen Ginsberg's musings on sexual experimentation and attitudes. (Scott Albright, Rovi)

SILENCE=DEATH is the second part of von Praunheim's AIDS trilogy. Together with Part I: POSITIVE he won the TEDDY JURY AWARD 1990.


additional Interview on YouTube: Avram Finkelstein, a member of the Silence=Death Project, talks about AIDS, ACT-UP, institutional silence, Holocaust imagery, street art, and the making of an iconic political image.

BIOGRAFIE Rosa von Praunheim

Born in Riga, in 1942. He studied at the University of Art and Design Offenbach am Main and at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 1967, von Praunheim directed his first short films. He made his cinema breakthrough in 1971 with the documentary Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt.

FILMOGRAFIE Rosa von Praunheim (selection)

2017 Überleben in Neukölln  2016 Welcome All Sexes: 30 Jahre Teddy Awards   2015 Härte  2013 Mario Wirz  2011 Mondo Lux - Die Bilderwelten des Werner Schroeter  2011 Die Jungs vom Bahnhof Zoo  2011 König des Comics  2010 New York Memories  2007 Tote Schwule – lebende Lesben  2004 Umsonst gelebt - Walter Schwarze  2004 Männer Helden und schwule Nazis  1990 Positiv  1989 Schweigen = Tod  1971 Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt 

BIOGRAFIE Phil Zwickler

Filmmaker and writer about gay and lesbian issues and the AIDS crisis. Philip was known for his work on Rights and Reactions: Lesbian & Gay Rights on Trial , an award-winning documentary covering the 1986 New York City Council hearings on the gay rights bill (1988). He collaborated with David Wojnarowicz to produce Fear of Disclosure (1994), a short film about the issues gay men face dating in the context of AIDS.

Phil also worked with experimental German film maker, Rosa von Praunheim, to produce "Silence Equals Death" and "Positive," both exploring the emotions and anger of people with AIDS. The film "Positive" includes interviews with Zwickler and two other men who were HIV-positive. He produced his final project, "The Needle Nightmares" (1991), with the help of David Meieran.

Phil also worked as a news reporter, publishing stories in the Village Voice and serving as editor of the People with AIDS Coalition Newsline for a number of years. Before working in film and journalism, he taught literature in New York City public schools and community colleges.

He died from the complications of AIDS , aged 36, in Manhattan, New York City, New York.

FILMOGRAFIE Phil Zwickler (selection)

1989 Schweigen = Tod  1989 Fear of Disclosure  1987 Rights And Reactions: Lesbian & Gay Rights On Trial 

Rosa von Praunheim@IMDb

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