Great Freedom (Austria) (10/24)

With a dearth of cinematic gay films going back a century, we have to take our queer narratives where we can find them, and if that means in prison, then so be it. Last year’s Austrian Oscar submission, which was released in the States this May, is the story of Hans (Franz Rogowski), a gay man put in prison for being gay in post-World War II Germany. Ironically, it is within prison that he finds some semblance of freedom (after all, you can’t go to prison for being gay if you’re already in prison for being gay). Over his years locked away, he has several relationships and strikes up an unlikely friendship with his gruff cellmate. While of course, we’ve started to see happier, healthier cinematic gay relationships recently (the delightful Fire Island comes to mind), Great Freedom reminds us of the centuries and centuries of LGBTQ+ history in which queer people had to find the small bits of joy and freedom wherever they could.

Written by Abu Bakar

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