Special 25th anniversary film screening of Coming Out

Coming OutOn the night of November 9th, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, opening the border between East and West Germany. As the Wende Museum marks the passage of 25 years since this monumentous event, we’re also highlighting the anniversary of a lesser-known milestone that occurred on the very same night: the debut at East Berlin’s Kino International of Coming Out, the first and last queer feature film produced in East Germany.We hope you’ll join us as we co-present Outfest’s special screening of this groundbreaking piece of Cold War LGBTQ cinematic history on October 1st in West Hollywood.

Directed by Heiner Carow, Coming Out offers an intimate view of the lived experience of gay men in late 1980s East Berlin. Homosexuality had been outlawed in Germany since 1871 under Paragraph 175, and the systematic persecution of the German LGBTQ community continued through the 20th century and after World War II in both East and West Germany, even once the law was eased in the late 1960s. For the majority of East Germany’s 41-year existence, the presence of gays and lesbians in literature and media was kept to a minimum, consigning the lives of homosexuals to silence and solitude. 

Coming Out was screened in German with English subtitles on October 1, 2014 in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at West Hollywood Library, co-presented with Outfest and ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. A discussion with the Wende Museum’s Manager of Collections & Associate Curator Patrick Mansfield, Audiovisual Archivist Kate Dollenmayer, Outfest UCLA Legacy Project Manager Alice Royer, and guests from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives followed the film.