Austrian filmmaker Sebastian Meise (OUTING, STILL LIFE) won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival for this searing drama set in post-war Germany's unforgiving prison system. German actor Franz Rogowski (TRANSIT, UNDINE, VICTORIA) stars as Holocaust survivor Hans Hoffmann, a man constantly in and out of high-security prison as a result of paragraph 175, a law criminalizing the "unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex." Taking place across three intertwining timelines — 1945, 1957 and 1968 (the year before the decriminalization of homosexuality in Germany) — the film sees Hans repeatedly caught in a Kafka-esque penal system for the "crime" of living as gay man. While he finds solace in a series of romantic encounters during his stints behind bars, one constant emerges — Viktor (acclaimed Austrian actor Georg Friedrich, BRIGHT NIGHTS, WILD MOUSE), a man serving a life sentence for murder. As the pair develop a deep, decades-spanning bond and their relationship evolves into something almost akin to a romance, Meise delivers a tender, lyrical meditation on the power of love and human connection, while also chronicling a little-known chapter in queer history. Winner, Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Official Selection, 2021 Busan, London, Chicago and AFI FEST film festivals. DIR/SCR Sebastian Meise; SCR Thomas Reider; PROD Benny Drechsel, Sabine Moser, Oliver Neumann. Austria/Germany, 2021, color, 116 min. In English and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
No AFI Member passes accepted.