Coming Out (1989)

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I really wanted to like this film. Truly. I tried. Unfortunately I could only stand to watch half and that was, to be honest, only because I enjoyed the shots of Berlin back in the late 80s and noting how the Alexanderplatz/Weinmeisterstraße area still looks the same today.

I realise that perhaps I am being unfair comparing Coming Out, produced in East Germany in 1989, to Taxi zum Klo from the West in 1980. These are very different films, from very different places and from very different and turbulent times and the fact that this film was made at all is something that should be praised. However, this film has aged and died, much like the the Communist East and its one party politics, rapidly.

The film is essentially (without wanting to ruin the plot) about a man who struggles with his sexuality and forms a relationship with a woman. He is a teacher. He soon realises he is perhaps gay. He explores this and, from what I can tell from the Wikipedia page, in the part of the film that I skipped, he falls in love with a character who made an appearance earlier in the film. This is all very well but I found it uncomfortable and just another one of those stories about a gay-man-in-a-heterosexual-relationship-who-stuggles-with-his-sexuality-and-eventually-leaves-his-girlfriend.

This really wasn’t the groundbreaking queer cinema classic I was expecting and it seems to be riding off the back of its, albeit spectacular historical timing (it screened on the night the Berlin Wall fell), instead of off the back of its storyline, cinematography and passion.

(I do not own this image, nor this film (thankfully)).

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