Coming Out

Feature Film GDR 1989

The young professor Philipp Klahrmann is having an affair with his colleague, Tanja. One evening they happen into a gay bar where they meet Matthias, a timid 19-year-old who falls immediately in love with Philipp. The two men meet again incidentally and Matthias invites Philippp to his birthday party, after which they spend the night together. The relationship between Tanja and Philipp crumbles, and Thomas, tired of playing Philipp’s occasional lover, starts to cruise gay bars. Thus begins a travailed journey that will lead Matthias to eventually accept his homosexuality. The first and only East German film to tell a gay love story, Coming Out premiered at the Cinema International on Karl-Marxallee on 9 November 1989, the night the Berlin Wall came down. The screening was interrupted to announce the news, but the audience stayed on to watch the end of the film and then left to join the crowds at the Brandenburg Gate. Several months later, the film won the Silver Bear Award for Best Direction at Berlin Film Festival.

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