LGBT Inside Out Festival: MY WONDERFUL WEST BERLIN (Germany 2017) ***

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mywonderful.jpgToday’s hip image of Berlin is based on the city’s vibrant and subversive subcultures, which originally emerged within the grey walls surrounding West Berlin. The queer scene played a major role in creating that subculture, with its sexual diversity and its wild and unconstrained party culture, ranging from the notorious clubs to CSD.

Director: Jochen Hick
Writer: Jochen Hick
Stars: Mabel Aschenneller, Wolfgang Cihlarz, Rolf Eden

Review by Gilbert Seah
MY WONDERFUL WEST BERLIN charts the gay activities between the end of WWII and the fall of the Berlin Wall, looking from the point of view of West Berlin, which was a melting pot of political activists, partygoers, hedonists, club owners, musicians and fashion designers.

These are the stories of their lives, existing in gay communes and surviving the AIDS crisis. This trip down memory lane is not all nostalgic and joy. West Berlin is shown for all the ugliness and its gay history from the fights of the gay movements, the raids and arrests in gay establishments, the abolishment of paragraph 175, to the destruction of lives though A.I.D.S..

Shot mostly in back and white with extensive use of archive footage and home mvies, the audience is offered a ‘treat’ that still keels a relative light mood over the events. Celebrities that have visited West Berlin include Iggy Pop and David Bowie, stressed for heir use of drugs. Many older residents reminisce of the past from the youth to the present.

There is nothing really new revealed in this documentary, but it is still an informative and entertaining watch.


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