Westler (Westler: East of the Fall)

Feature Film Federal Republic of Germany 1985

Berlin, the 1980s. Between 1961 and 1989 Berlin was divided by a wall that separated the Soviet sector from the Western Allies sectors. Felix lives in West Berlin and has an American lover from Los Angeles. On a visit to East Berlin they meet Thomas, who falls in love with Felix and the two begin a passionate affair. Felix’s increasingly frequent border crossings into East Berlin begins to arouse the suspicion of the East German checkpoint guards. Separated by this insurmountable wall, the two lovers attempt to flee to Prague. An indie production, the East Berlin scenes were secretly filmed with a small super8, Westler won the Audience Award at the Max Ophüls Festival and at the San Francisco International Gay&Lesbian Film Festival. The TAZ, a Berlin daily newspaper, wrote at the time, “This love story between two men is convincingly played. Filmed with a hidden camera, Westler reveals an unknown portrait of East Germany and is one of the few German films worth watching.” Westler has been the first feature awarded at TGLFF, in 1987.

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