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Coming Out

1989, color, 113 min. Feature
Dir.: Heiner Carow
Script: Wolfram Witt
Camera: Martin Schlesinger
Music: Stefan Carow
Cast: Mathias Freihof, Dagmar Manzel, Dirk Kummer, Michael Gwisdek, Werner Dissel

35mm, English subtitles - renting information
VHS-NTSC, English subtitles:
DVD, German language with English subtitles:


The first and only DEFA feature film about homosexuality, it premiered on November 9, 1989, the evening of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Philipp and Tanja teach at the same school. Both enjoy their work immensely. Both win their pupils' trust to talk about pressing problems. This shared view of their job brings Tanja and Philipp together, and it is especially Tanja who sees in this friend the love of her life. Philipp feels positively attracted to her as well. But when a friend of his youth reminds him of an earlier erotic bond, he realizes that he is gay, a fact he has been repressing for years. Philipp gets to know Matthias and falls passionately in love. The younger of the two, Matthias, puts all his trust in the other and the relationship could certainly have lasted. But Philipp is a coward. He lacks the courage to tell Tanja the truth, as she is expecting his child. And he equally fails to commit himself to Matthias or honestly confront his sexual orientation. As it turns out in the end, he loses both Tanja and Matthias. Not until he has undergone a painful process, does he come to accept himself.

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