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Side by Side to Screen LGBT Films from the Weimar Republic

At this years second Side by Side International Film Festival a retrospective of LGBT films from the Weimar Republic will be shown. Early classics Different from Others, directed by Richard Oswald (1919), Michael (1924), directed by Karl Theodor Dryer and Girls in Uniform (1931) directed by Leontine Sagan are included on the programme.

Cinema from the Weimar Republic was considered one of the strongest in Europe and throughout the years the German film industry were keen to demonstrate their ever growing strength. In 1917 UFA (Universum Film AG) was founded and gained substantial state support. The German authorities understood that cinema was a powerful and highly effective means of propaganda. 

Although Films of the Fatherland (Vaterländische Filme) called for patriotic feelings the audience wanted entertaining cinema. The German film industry sympathizing both with the state and the wishes of the public struck a balance between the two

Conservative critics and growing censorship led to harsh attacks on films dealing with a range of social and moral matters, homosexuality included. Against the backdrop of the rising mass film industry, Different from Others, Michael and Girls in Uniform were produced. Not only did the create scandal but aroused admiration, eventually taking their merited place among world cinema masterpieces. 

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