CHERRY GROVE STORIES DEAR FREDY
Dir Michael Fisher. Prod Gary Sacks. USA 2017. 74min.
Sales The Film Collaborative
Discover the inside story of what was once one of
the gayest places on earth.
Even before Stonewall, Cherry Grove and its beach
houses on Fire Island were a haven for generations
of gay men, lesbians and drag queens. Rare archive
footage shows swishy young men in demi-drag,
amateur theatricals and a host of drag queens.
At a time when it was illegal in the USA for bars to
serve homosexuals, there were wild parties, late
night outdoor cruising, and hordes of beautiful
young men and women out for a good time.
This sexually liberated paradise shaped the modern
gay community. Though it suffered the effects of the
AIDS epidemic early on, the spirit of Cherry Grove
continues to exert its magic up to the present day.
GAY GARB MARIKAS MISSIO OF LOVE & LAW
FRI 23 MAR SAT 24 MAR MON 26 MAR
18:10 STUDIO 16:30 NFT2 18:15 STUDIO
MON 26 MAR* TUE 27 MAR
20:45 NFT3 18:10 NFT3
Dir-Scr Rubi Gat. Prod Shahar Ben Hor. Israel 2017. 74min.
Prod Co Clemantina
An inspiring documentary about a heroic gay Jewish
sportsman who ended up in Auschwitz.
This powerful film documents the life of Fredy Hirsch.
Born in Germany, he lived in Prague prior to the
Second World War and rare for that time, he was
an openly gay man. A tireless promoter of sport,
and gymnastics in particular, he remained active
even when the Nazis tried to exclude Jews from any
sporting facilities. A spokesperson who fearlessly
negotiated with the SS at Theresienstadt ghetto,
when he was moved to Auschwitz he set up a day-care
centre for 600 children. Using rare photographs,
archive footage and witness testimony Dear Fredy is
an extraordinary story and a celebration of a heroic
figure who died fighting
for the betterment of others. Brian Robinson
+ THE RED TREE L’ALBERO ROSSO
Dir Paul Rowley. Ireland-USA-Italy 2018. 22min
A fascinating experimental documentary about a
little-known Italian prison camp for gay men during the
Second World War, located on a remote island.
THU 22 MAR FRI 23 MAR SAT 24 MAR
20:45 STUDIO 14:00 NFT2 18:15 STUDIO
THU 29 MAR
MON 26 MAR WED 28 MAR THU 29 MAR
20:40 NFT2 20:50 STUDIO 20:30 STUDIO
THU 22 MAR SAT 24 MAR
20:40 NFT2 13:40 NFT3
Dir-Scr Jessica Champeaux. Prod Jeanne Humbert,
Hélène Pigeard-Benazera. Belgium 2017. 62min.
Prod Co CBA – Centre de l’Audiovisuel à Bruxelles
The children of same sex parents are given a
voice in this engaging and charming documentary
investigating the concept of family.
Charting the history of lesbian parenting in her native
Belgium, director Champeaux is on a quest to
understand whether she herself could have a family
with a female partner. The film interweaves archive
footage of the early struggles, debates and protests
that helped create the laws safeguarding same sex
parenting with heartfelt and often joyous testimony
from the now-adult children of those early lesbian
pioneers. Champeaux’s film is a fresh perspective
on an important issue for the queer community and,
ultimately, a celebration of family in all its variations.
+ LOVE LETTER RESCUE SQUAD
Dir Megan Rossman. USA 2016. 7min
The story behind the creation of the New York-based
Lesbian Herstory Archives is explored in this richly
deserved short film.
Dir Hikaru Toda. Prod Elhum Shakerifar. UK 2017. 95min.
Production Co Hakawati/Little Stranger Films
Two gay lawyers living in Osaka pioneer the first
LGBTQ+ law firm in Japan.
Fumi and Kazu have a lot to teach us about love.
When they decide to stick their necks out and create
the first LGBTQ+ law firm in Japan, they are drawn
into the lives of people searching for protection and
support. Despite their own relationship having no
legal status, they work pro-bono for long hours, all
the while foster-parenting a teenager. We meet with
a colourful cast of misfits, dissidents and artists –
from a delightful eccentric being prosecuted for her
kitschy vagina sculptures, to a troubled outsider
who, as the child of an ‘immoral woman’, has no
legal identity. A saying is repeated throughout the
film, that one must ‘read the air’ – conform to the
tacit conservatism that forbids sexual diversity. With
love, humour and serious legal chops, Fumi and
Kazu do exactly the opposite. Jay Bernard
A clip lecture that pays homage to the gay
designers of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Inspired by two fashion-forward documentaries
in this year’s programme (Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex,
Fashion & Disco and Susanne Bartsch: On Top),
Zorian Clayton presents a clip lecture in celebration
of some of the pioneering designers of the silver
screen, who set the trends in the Roaring Twenties,
Dirty Thirties, Flying Forties and Nifty Fifties.
There’s Erté, the flamboyant Art Deco designer of
the silent era and Adrian, who created Garbo’s style
and Joan Crawford’s shoulder pads; Orry-Kelly
dominated Hollywood for three decades, while
Travis Banton lay behind the trail-blazing elegance
of lesbian and bisexual actresses of the pre-code
era such as Lilyan Tashman and the dazzling
Marlene Dietrich. Special mention also goes to
legendary designer Edith Head, who perhaps fuelled
rumours around her own sexuality to be considered
gay enough to break into the queer Shangri-La that
was the early Hollywood costume department.
Dir-Scr Michael Schmitt. Prod Annika Blendl, Leonie Stade,
Michael Schmitt. Germany 2017. 74min.
Prod Co MAN ON MARS Filmproduktion
A deeply personal documentary about faith, the
Catholic Church and one woman’s defiant stance
Marika grew up wanting to teach Catholic Religious
Studies in school. In order to do this you have to
be granted the Missio Canonica from the church
itself – an authorisation granted only to those who
live according to the moral ethics of the church.
Those moral ethics don’t encompass LGBTQ+ lives,
and so Marika hides who she really is at work just
so she can have her dream job. But there’s only so
many years of hiding Marika and her girlfriend Anke
can handle before a heartbreaking choice has to be
made, one that most of us will never have to make
in our working lives. The complexities of the Catholic
Church are laid bare in this engaging and thought-provoking
film about one woman’s journey to live
her life. Emma Smart