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Is It Not the Movie-Maker who is Perverse?

British gays are more “uptight” about talking about their sexual experiences than homosexuals in any other country, according to Volker Eschke, the assistant director of It is Not The Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But The Situation In Which He Lives, after the movie, shot for German television and rejected from being shown several times, had been met with a hostile reception at London’s National Film Theatre.

It Is Not The Homosexual is an intentionally amateurish-looking movie that shows cottaging, gay bars et al in their horrible reality, and counterpoints it with a Masters-and-Johnson commentary that puts down gays with the usual generalisations about our being unable to have lasting relationships.

The movie ends with a discussion between the boy whose progress we have followed from his arrival in Berlin to trade and some of his more liberated friends who tell him that gays must unite to claim their rights to live within society.

The movie’s director, Rosa von Praunheim, made It Is Not The Homosexual to try and get German gays to unite into GLF-style groups. Since it was made it has apparently spawned something like 28 gay groups in Germany.

Unfortunately radical GLF members of the audience at the NFT shouted, whistled and jeered as assistant director Volker tried to explain the movie’s aims and the way it was meant to work, so that we never heard that. I only learned it in the green room after the show.

It Is Not The Homosexual was intended as a shock report on how society has forced gays to live to be shown to a general television audience.

But perhaps because we were denied the introductory talk by the radicals’ hostility, or perhaps because the English commentary was unfortunate in its naivete, I’m not sure that showing the movie to an audience of ‘straights’ on national television would make them any more understanding.

A full review of the movie will appear in GN11.

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