Category Archives: Jewish and Gay— Movies

“BLUSH”— Feeling the Pressure


“Blush” (“Barash”)

Feeling the Pressure

Amos Lassen

Naama Barash (Sivan Noam Shimon) isn’t like other 17-year-old Israeli girls. She likes alcohol and uses drugs and hangs out with others who do the same. She does this to escape from her home where her parents constantly fight and her sister, who is in the Israeli Defense Forces, has disappeared. When, Dana Hershko (Jade Sakori), a new girl shows up at her school, Barash falls in love with her and the relationship is so intense that it confuses her but it also gives meaning to her life.


The first feature-length film by Israeli director Michal Vinik is about Israel’s alienated youth. Barash feels the pressure of her sister’s disappearance and her parents’ fighting so she was ripe for a new person entering her life. At first this intensity confuses her.


We follow Naama as she befriends Dana, who introduces her to recreational drug use, hitchhiking, Tel Aviv nightclubs and lesbian sex. Naama eagerly soaks up and enjoys these new experiences her school friend has to offer and not surprisingly falls head over heels for Dana, who, ends up dumping her after breaking her heart and triggering painful but necessary emotional growth, self-awareness, and the issues that are part of coming-of-age.


The sex scene between Naama and Dana, stopping short of total explicitness, but probably as graphic as it gets for an Israeli film. It is an exploration of teenage desire that is tries very hard to convey the emotions of the two female characters.


Clueless, prejudiced Gideon (Dvir Benedek) gives us a look at his paranoia and mistrust towards Arabs, and a hint of hope in the generational differences in Israel. In fact, Israeli-Palestinian tensions deepen and complicate the more familiar coming-out subject of the film.


Naama’s early signs of non-conformity (like the serpentine tattoo on her shoulder ) are kept neatly concealed from authority figures at home and at her school, where students are ironically drilled to salute their country’s independence while being afforded none of their own. Naama’s infatuation may not be wholly reciprocated, but emerges as an expression of self. Naama did not dare to come out to her parents. There is also unexpected comedy in the film. This is basically a film about doing what you can, sometimes inelegantly, to make yourself heard.

“FAMILY COMMITMENTS”— A Happy Gay Couple/ A Mixed Marriage

family poster


A Happy Gay Couple/ A Mixed Marriage

Amos Lassen

Director Hanno Olderdissen brings us a new German comedy about a great taboo— mixed marriage between an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim. Happy gay couple gallery owner David (Max von Pufendorf ) and high school coach Khaled (Omar El – Saeidi) would love to marry publicly.


However there is a problem– Khaled’s Arab family (especially his homophobic father Aledrissi [Ramin Yazdani]) and David’s pseudo orthodox Jewish acting mother Lea (Maren Kroymann). But that’s not all— suddenly the pregnant Sarah (Franziska Brandmeier) arrives on their doorstep claiming that her child was David’s, (the result of a night partying in Berlin) and everything goes out of control. Misunderstandings, outing fears, a possible paternity and a gallery insolvency drive these contradictory families into an emotional chaos and beyond their borders and we laugh all the way through.

“MX. ENIGMA”— Complex, Mysterious and Interesting


“Mx. Enigma”

Complex, Mysterious and Interesting

Amos Lassen

Director Je’Jae Daniels “Mx Enigma” explores the intersection between his Orthodox Jewish background and his gender identity, and how one suppresses the other in this documentary.

Daniels explains the title in this way— “Enigma means complex, mysterious, and interesting. Together I am embracing my identity and telling myself it’s ok to be certain with the uncertain, which became my artist name as well and a message to all people regardless of gender.”

‘Mx. Enigma’ is one of the films produced at the Reel Works Lab, an intensive 20-week, after-school workshop that matches teens one-on-one with professional filmmaker-mentors to create short documentaries about their lives and communities. Reel Works, production company partner of HBO, provides free filmmaking programs for NYC Youth. Je’Jae (Jay) Daniels’ uses the pronouns they/them to say that he has more than one identity. The short documentary about their gender identity will be broadcasted soon on HBO Live. It deals with the way

how gay men’s natural attractions to each other can be considered a sin by the community that one was born into. “I made it as part of my graduation project at The Met Film School,” Brenner explains. “I chose the topic because it is a subject very close to my heart and I wanted to investigate how people like me felt within our communities.” “I wanted to gain an insight into what people like me felt and also people that had a negative view on the way we were naturally born,” he adds.

Brenner interviews his own and asks her whether she always knew that he was gay. He also interviews other Jewish LGBT people who, like him, don’t want to give up either of the two worlds they belong to, worlds that some would say contradict each other.

“MARZIPAN FLOWERS”— Putting Life Together

marzipan poster

“Marzipan Flowers”

Putting Life Together

Amos Lassen

“Marzipan Flowers” is the story of Hadas Regal (Nuli Omer), a 48-year-old woman living in Israel. After her husband is killed in a freakish motorcycle accident, Regal finds herself under intense scrutiny from her fellow kibbutz members, who seem threatened by her new status as a widow who is a real beauty.


Hadas is lost and vulnerable. She moves to Tel-Aviv where she picks up her life to where it was before she got married. She looks for the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was a teen.


With the unexpected help from her roommate Petel (Tal Kallai) a transgender woman with a mysterious and colorful past, Hadas finds the strength to put her life together. The three women find friendship and support and discover that they have more in common than they would have guessed.


Winner of the Best Independent film at 2014 Jerusalem film festival and nominated for an Israeli Academy Award, “Marzipan Flowers” is a unique and highly original piece of film making. It is the a story of a strong trans woman and we see her in a positive light even when her behavior is less than admirable.

“WHO’S GONNA LOVE ME NOW?”— Where Life Takes Us

who poster

“Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?”

Where Life Takes Us

Amos Lassen

I have often reviewed films about the Israeli directors Tomer and Barak Heymann and they never disappoint. Their newest is about a subject that is quite close to me and I understand it is knocking them everywhere it has been shown.

Saar Maoz is a gay man from a religious family in Israel who after being kicked out of his conservative kibbutz because of his sexual orientation, goes to London where he enjoys a gay lifestyle that was denied to him in Israel. He lives the dream, but wakes up to discover a nightmare —he has contracted HIV. When he breaks the news to his family, they struggle with fears and prejudices. Saar is lucky to have the support and warmth of his surrogate brothers, the London Gay Men’s Chorus, he begins a reconciliation process with his biological family in Israel.


Saar finds himself between the two worlds and he knows he must make a decision—should he go home to Israel and back to his family or stay in London and live away from them forever? It is quite a difficult choice especially when we learn that Saar has never fulfilled his parents’ expectations. Ever since he defied the rules of his kibbutz and was barred from the settlement community seventeen years ago, he does not exist in his family’s eyes. After he left Israel to live freely as a gay man in London, he was in a three-year relationship but when that ended, he threw himself into an excess of sex and drugs. When he was HIV positive, he was forced to rethink his life. He finally found a home singing in the London Gay Men’s Chorus where music is giving him the courage for a reunion with his family.

This is a sensitive, humorous and charming record of how the now forty-year-old protagonist and his estranged parents and siblings set off to confront their disagreements and fears. My story is similar to a degree. I did not leave my family because I had to, I left to start a life in Israel and thinking that I had said goodbye to America forever. My father and I never got along but I knew that I would never see either of my parents again and until one goes through that, it is impossible to describe what kind of feeling it is. And I never saw them again. When I returned to the States, they were both gone.


Saar, on the other hand, felt rejection and that is really hard to forgive. To return to Israel would be a challenge. What Saar experienced has a good deal to say about the communal way of life that is very much into culture and religion, although I lived communally as an open gay male and really had no trouble. I found Saar to be inspiring in that he left what he knew to go to a place he did not know in order to life openly. In that, his search for his identity was much like mine with the exception that I went to Israel when the state was not yet 15 years old with the idea that I was going to help build a nation.

At age 40, it is difficult to be separated from family regardless of reasons. Yes, youth might be wasted on the young but if we would stop to think that when we were young that was the case, we probably would have acted differently. Now Saar’s parents want him to come back but he has eschewed Orthodox Judaism and his friends in the chorus are helping him deal with his HIV status. This is such a personal movie and that is exactly the reason it must be seen.


Saar’s mother weeps for her son’s future, while his father asks rather stoically, “can’t you just take a pill for this?” or “why don’t you just call it the ‘men’s chorus’?” Here we have the story of a troubled man facing middle age whose strict father trains paratroopers, whose tearful Jewish mother loves her son and whose uncomprehending siblings have their own families. We become very aware of both the guilt and the introspection that Saar has to deal with and, in effect, that is the theme of the film.

Then in the movie there are cutaways to motivational songs performed by a hundred cheerful gay voices lifting us occasionally from the depression we feel about Saar’s family. The songs and music also lend passionate expression to the film’s message.
who1The film was shot over several years and dwells on the power of forgiveness and the power that home has, no matter how far away we go. Saar comes across as a nice guy who says he has HIV because he binged with sex and drugs after his breakup with his partner. He works at an Apple store yet always there in front him and us is his religious family. We learn that he was forced out of the kibbutz where he grew up and this is still a source of embarrassment for his family. He has been in London for nearly 20 years. His mother cries for her son’s future and his father is strict about his son. Saar finds love singing in the chorus as I sit and watch the movie and weep with his mother.

This is not just the story of a gay man at odds with his family and the expectations of society especially in Israel which grants the same freedoms to gays as it does to the rest of the country (although it was not that way for a good part of the time that I lived there). But then, Saar’s brother is quite upset that Saar is sick and that disease affects the standing of the family.


This is an intimate film at times but it has to be because it is about feelings and it gets us to share our feelings as well. Take my word for it, this is a film that you must find a way to see.

“LOST IN THE WHITE CITY”—A Love Triangle in Tel Aviv

Lost in white city

“Lost in the White City”

A Love Triangle in Tel Aviv

Amos Lassen

“Lost In The White City” is the story of a love triangle set in the hot political climate of modern Tel Aviv. A young straight couple goes on a winter vacation to Tel Aviv in the hopes that it will be a change to use their creativity. Eva (Haley Bennett) writes poetry and goes to parties with friends while Kyle (Thomas Dekker) works on a film about his confused sexuality with a young Israeli ex-soldier, Avi (Bob Morley) who draws him deeper into the couple’s complex relationship.


As I watched the beginning of the film I had the feeling that I had seen all of this before but as the film moved forward, I realized that this was something brand new. I also realized that there is something very special about this film and I was soon totally wrapped up in it.

Eva and Kyle understood that their relationship was in trouble and that perhaps this visit to Tel Aviv might just change things as well as make them more creative in what they do. They soon become caught up in the nightlife as Kyle realizes that there are great opportunities to make a film in Tel Aviv. Each works on his artistic projects and we seldom see then together except when they are in the apartment. At a party they meet Avi who has recently finished his stint in the Israel Defense Forces and is trying his luck as an actor.


There seems to be a sense of attraction between Eva and Avi but nothing really comes out of that at first. However, Kyle is soon infatuated with Avi who is a bit mysterious. He makes Avi the focus of his next film. Avi does not realize that Kyle is sexually attracted to him and so he continues working with him on the film.

We do not know if Avi feels the same about Kyle and the viewer is left to decide that for him/herself. However as Eva and Avi become involve, there are problems when Kyle catches them together. Kyle forgives them and Avi agrees to go to Berlin with them in order to finish the film. We see them together with a couple of other friends and all seem to be enjoying themselves. We also realize that something has happened when we see an abandoned backpack.


If I had seen something about this film on the TLA website, I would never have known about it and that is too bad. It is a reflection of the youth of today and where they are in terms of culture and society. We also see something about the Middle East from a different perspective and minus the Israel/Palestine conflict. However, above all, what we really see is young people doing and loving what they want. The acting is excellent all around.

As Kyle, Dekker’s portrayal of the crass and impulsive American is one of the highlights of the film. There is a fourth star here— the city of Tel Aviv and its nightlife and having lived there I can tell you that it is accurately portrayed. We see Tel Aviv as a city like others and here we do not see the war zone that we so often seen in the media.

As the film opens, we see that there is trouble in Kyle and Eva’s relationship. Soon they are swept into a precarious and intriguing Israeli environment where menace, seduction and danger meet a sultry awareness of each other’s more preferred sexual choices. There is a wonderful scene where Avi leads Kyle to a bombed out nightclub on the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Kyle shoots Avi naked in a semi-erotic pose for his avant-garde film. Here we immediately sense the sexual tension between Kyle and Avi and it is otherwise often masked by aggression and heavy drinking, as the two men hit the Tel Aviv nightclub scene.


Meanwhle, Eva, while browsing through a suburban bookshop, meets Israeli-American writer Liam, (Nony Geffen), who is the complete antithesis of the reckless and noncaring Kyle. Liam introduces Eva to a more sophisticated world of the intelligensia, book launches and parties on yachts. The filmmakers cleverly link Kyle and Eva’s journeys of self-discovery and their crumbling relationship to Tel Aviv’s disturbing sense of danger becauase of omnipresent potential for violence and suicide bombings.

Israeli cinematographer Shahar Reznik gives us Tel Aviv in a sumptuous glare of sunlight, contrasting with the night sequences which are filled with glamour, drugs and decadence. Viewers get the sense of the city being constantly under threat while its citizens dance the night away in hedonism.


Beautifully filmed and definitely aimed at a more open-minded audience, the film explores the dangers of summer romances, sexuality and unrequited dreams. 

The film is co-directed by Tanner King Barklow and Gil Kofman and it is a fascinating film about a straight couple’s relationship which disintegrates during a Mediterranean summer in Tel Aviv.


“Lost in the White City” will be exclusively available to stream on FlixFling —

“BAR 51”— Brother and Sister

bar 51 better poster

“BAR 51”

Brother and Sister

Amos Lassen

bar 1a

Thomas (Juliano Mor) and Mariana (Smadar Kilchinsky) are brother and sister and have a very deep relationship. With the death of their mother, they move to Tel Aviv from a small village in hopes of finding a way to live. Thomas meets Apollonia (Ada Tal), the owner of Bar 51. They both get jobs there and for the first time, they arrived in Tel Aviv and find work and accommodation at Bar 51. For the first time they discover the worlds of night fashion, dancers, and the gay community. Apollonia is a transsexual who has her desires set on Thomas while Thomas fantasizes about his sister, Mariana. As this triangle tightens, we sit and watch.


This downbeat Israeli drama about a brother’s incestuous love for his sister is notable for good camerawork and art direction. 


Thomas makes money as a “kept man” for two different women who are nightclub entertainers. At the same time, he attracts the attentions of an amorous transvestite. His unnatural love for his sister goes unexpressed, but his jealousy cannot be controlled. If his sister wants to lead any sort of a normal life, it will be up to her to break her dependence on her brother and move on.

“NO HOME MOVIE”— Mother and Daughter


“No Home Movie”

Mother and Daughter

Amos Lassen

Chantal Akerman’s “No Home Movie” places her mother in the center, but the real star is death. We sense it omnisciently throughout the film making itself felt more acutely in the sad light of the filmmaker’s recent presumed suicide just days before she was scheduled to present this film at the New York Film Festival. We are reminded while we are connected by love and memories, death silently waits to swallow us all. Akerman mixed calm, sadness, and onscreen suffering making the response to death almost more than we are able to bear.

no home1a

Akerman was known for her use of the long shot filmed conversations with her quite elderly mother, Natalia. She filmed her conversations with her elderly mother in her mother’s Brussels apartment. She also recorded their chats over Skype. She said she did so to prove that there is no distance in today’s world. However, there is distance and we see this when Akerman cuts from interiors to a series of exterior shots whose emptiness and desolation contrast with the interiors’ intimacy. The pull between inside and outside is filled with extreme tension.


When the two are together in the apartment, we see a poignant connection and their small talk and deeper reminiscences are absorbing. We see Natalia Akerman as a dignified, kind woman, inclined to give others the benefit of the doubt, affectionate not just with her kin but with the caretakers who attend to her needs, and always respectful of her daughter’s high spirits and intelligence. Madame Akerman has been marked by death; she and her husband survived the Holocaust, but just barely, and that brush with fate seems to have given her a sturdy, philosophical outlook on life.

no home2a

The camera films Madame Akerman’s home and possessions and this gives us a nonverbal sense of who she as we see her intensely observed personal environment. This seems to have something to say about whether we exist or not. Madame Akerman clings to life, daily taking her all-important walks. When she leaves the apartment, the camera stays focused in the temporarily and we know that it will eventually be empty for good for Natalia. As she fades, we feel broken hearted. At one point, she nods off to sleep in a chair and Akerman and her sister try to keep her awake and engaged with humor and baby talk. She struggles to respond, but we can see she is just not totally. The daughters’ attempts to reach her and even though we know that they mean well, they instead come across as cruel, well-meaning as they are, seem almost cruel. There are some of the cruelties of life in the exterior shots. The camera pans over the gray Israeli desert out of a car window, first steadily and then jerks back and forth, creating a mood of desperate flight.

no home movie

It is clear why Akerman was such a polarizing artist in her long career. These scenes feel like guilt, or punishment. Near the end of the film, water appears on the screen with Akerman’s silhouette reflected on its surface. The water moves calmly and this is in contrast to Chantal Akerman’s suicide. We hope that she felt some calm and beauty in those few moments.

The film is Akerman’s unsentimental love letter to, her recently deceased mother. The camera is focused on Natalia as she moves around her apartment. Instead of pairing words with images, Akerman often rests her camera in Natalia’s apartment, to record epitomizing moments or even conventionally meaningful revelations. Natalia is simply there and oblivious to being filmed. The film is a chronicle of Natalia’s gradual deterioration and eventual off-screen death.

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The film begins in a desert where wind fiercely blows at the one solitary tree there. We see its strength and whatever enters the wind’s path is forced into a vortex from which there is no escape and no exit. The tree is a symbol of Natalia’s life, both in Brussels and in Auschwitz. Like the tree, Natalia bends but she does not break. Akerman’s initial instance of isolation becomes a visual leitmotif and the film shows other examples of iterations of singular personages— a man on a bench or a lawn chair in the backyard and they become functional equivalents for Natalia’s disintegrating self. Akerman presents no definition of her mother nor does she gives us biographical details. This is not an eulogy for Natalia and Akerman dignifies her mother by presenting her as a fresh idea.

When Akerman is at home with her mother, she prompts several discussions, including Natalia’s recollections of her own parents, studying Hebrew prayers, and Akerman’s being pulled out of Hebrew school by her father, who wanted to leave orthodox Judaism. Their talks persistently move toward religion and ideology. At dinner she how her father was “a bit of a socialist,” and debates with her mother the leanings of those in power during World War II, which forced the family’s immigration to Sweden. The camera holds them and we get a sense of being removed from Akerman’s directorial hand, as if these moments simply came into being by accident.

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As discussions are about ethnicity and politics, we go back to the opening of the desert. There is a strong sense of desire for movement away from a place but no matter, death is on the horizon. Natalia dies and soon after so does Akerman.
Akerman has had a nomadic career that comprehensively grapples with an existential division between self and place. Her drama centers around a lack of temporal continuity—a consistently faulty and unreliable immediacy. This film is not a time capsule and neither is it an attempt to actually capture anything. For Akerman, there can be no home, there can be no movie, and there certainly cannot be a combination of the two, since it would constitute a flagrant disavowal of the catastrophic realities created by manmade transgression. Natalia who was a witness to the horrors at Auschwitz, silently carries them with her with in every lasting step and breath.

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The film feels very much like a montage of home movies randomly coming together but brilliantly so.

“ADAM”— Adam and Jonathan

adam poster


Adam and Jonathan

Amos Lassen

Segev Gershon Green’s “Adam” is a heartrending plea for sexual acceptance and tolerance. Green brings the subject of bullying among teenagers to the global spotlight, as a high school student finds his declaration of love for another boy, leads to hostile reactions from his classmates.

This is the story of Adam (Moti Lugassi) is a sensitive soul who happens to have fallen madly in love with high school cutie Jonathan (Shahar Roth); a guy who is so clearly straight that no one wonder. Adam knows that his love will never be real for Jonathan so he takes consolation in acting out a fantasy relationship with his object of desire, by way of a pair of “Jonathan and Adam” Barbie styled dolls. But then his pent-up emotions get the better of him and he openly declares his hitherto unspoken love on Jonathan’s Facebook page and this is an act that is destined to end in tragedy. Here is a film with no happy ending.


The film was made to highlight the issue of teenage bullying, of which the disturbing fact remains that out of every four students in the US, one is bullied on a daily basis at school. This is the first Israeli film that deals directly with bullying among teenagers and so doing, delivers a heartrending plea for sexual acceptance and tolerance.

Even though we sense early on how this will end, we still need more films like this to show the danger of bullying and that “too many teenagers find themselves at the end of lonely street, unable to cope with a life of seemingly unending verbal and physical abuse”.

Thankfully before storm clouds gather, Segev Gershon Green, alongside American producer Edward Singletary Jr. and Indonesian producer Edward Gunawan have gone out of their way to tell their story in a glimmer of sunlight, using a beautifully lit and touchingly tender fantasy sequence. The movie is “bitterly poignant” bitterly poignant, even if Moti Lugassi is clearly older than the teenage character he portrays so beautifully.

“PARAGRAPH 175”— Documenting Hate



Documenting Hate

Amos Lassen

”Paragraph 175” (New Yorker Video) is a documentary on the treatment of gays at the hands of the Nazis. By the year 1920, Berlin had become the homosexual Eden and homosexual men and women lived open lives in a world where being different seemed to be the rule. When the Nazis began their rise to power this changed and over 100,000 men were arrested between 1933 and 1945. Their crime was homosexuality and they were arrested under the extremely strange Paragraph 175, a sodomy provision of the penal code which dated back to 1871. Some men were sent to prison, the majority were sent to concentration camps and of the 100,000 only 4,000 survived. Today, less then ten of them still live and f that number, five have come forward to tell the story of the Nazi persecution. What they does s shed light on a period of history which has been hidden for too long. The moving testimonies they give are pieced together with provocative photos as questions of memory, history and identity are raised in this wonderful, but heartbreaking, documentary.


We hear from a gay Jewish resistance fighter who helped refugees in Berlin, from a Jewish lesbian who managed tot escape to England, a German Christian photographer who was imprisoned because he was gay and when released joined the army to be with men and a French Alsatian who watched as his lover was tortured and murdered in the camps. As they speak your heart breaks a little and these stories are real and devastating. You hear one man tell how he stood by as his lover was devoured by German Shepherds and from the gay man who managed to help his Jewish lover go free and then watch him run to his family so that he could die with them.


The movie documents the fall of the decadent golden days of Berlin and how gay men were taken prisoner because of innuendo or simply gossip. It is impossible not to admire the survivors who came forward to take part in this important film. The stories are real and the people are real and the emotions you will feel when you watch this are very real. It is impossible not to be struck almost senseless by what you see and hear here.


It is even hard to think about how this film was made. There are only a few survivors left and people are not eager to talk about this period. We have had many films that deal with holocaust material but gays and the holocaust has been almost completely ignored. What is sp interesting in “Paragraph 175” is that what we have is experience and emotions, we see them and we hear them and we are lucky for this because they will be gone soon.


Basically a series of interviews, the documentary has interspersed actual footage of the time with the people speaking and it is done very professionally. When we consider how many movies and documentaries have already been made about the darkest period in history but this one is special–IT IS ABOUT US. It was only 74 years old that this happened and it is almost inconceivable that it took that long to have a movie made about the treatment of gays during that time. But now that we have it, it must be seen as it explores the terrible, horrible fate of our community. This is the most powerful 80 minutes of film I have ever seen and while it is emotional and informative it does not force issues.


It made me angry and sad and the compassion I felt in the beginning for the people who shared their stories turned to rage at times. Why did we not fight back? Why did we take this? And then I realized that we had no choice, No one cared whether we lived or died and many did not believe this was happening. The movie did not have to try to depend upon human emotion, it happened naturally and this was caused by the sheer simplicity and honesty of the interviews.The only problem with “Paragraph 175” is that it was limited and this is because there are not enough survivors alive to talk about the period. The archival footage of life under Nazism and in the concentration camps is sparse and the pool of interviewees is small. This has caused the film to have t rely on family photographed and pictures of gay and lesbian Germany from the period immediately following the first World War. The narrator, British film star, Rupert Everett is the spine of the movie.


Let’s take a brief look at what Paragraph 175 said. It stated: “An unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights may also be imposed”. Yet this was never enforced until the rise of Hitler. As we watch and listen to the accounts of those interviewed, we hear stories of the most repressive nature. The stories pull at the heart because unlike the Jews they have not been able to tell their stories and have not been able to hide their feelings for so long.


The penal code did not cover lesbians because lesbianism was considered curable and women, being the vessels to produce children, were not included in mass arrests. Most lesbians went into hiding or exile or married gay men.In closing I would like to give a few statistics. Of the 100,000 men arrested for homosexuality, 50,000 went to prison and about 15,000 were sent to concentration camps were they were used for slave labor, medical experimentation and castration. Of those that survived, we only have a few left today. Paragraph 175 was not abolished after the War; in fact it stayed in effect until the late 1960s and was enforced every once in a while.


This film excels in letting people tell their stories without adding to what they say and it carefully and judiciously explains the situation of denials of the world that regarded homosexuality as a threat to the existence of mankind. Even with the horror of the stories, “Paragraph 175” gives one faith in man and also chides the viewer into making sure that something like this will never, ever happen again. The movie is beautiful because of its importance and should be viewed and reviewed whenever we think that things are bad for us here in America.