Long before the Stonewall riots, Masters and Johnson or even the Kinsey Report, there was Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. A gay German Jew living in 19th-century Berlin, Hirschfeld didn’t just champion gay rights — he discovered them. Now Rosa von Praunheim, the firebrand of German Cinema, tells Hirschfeld’s story in this lush historical drama — from his first sexual stirrings to the eradication of his work by the Nazis. Splicing an enthralling story of discovery and romance with a barbed penchant for politics, von Praunheim presents a compelling account of the doctor who founded the first gay political group in 1897 and established the first medical practice for gays, the renowned Institute of Sexual Science, which thrived until Nazi oppression. In The Einstein of Sex (Hirschfeld’s nickname from the American press) a legendary sex pioneer meets a maverick director to create both a celebration of gay history and an incisive piece of queer filmmaking. –TLA Releasing
Rosa von Praunheim, born November 25, 1942, in Riga, during the German occupation under his real name Holger Radtke, grew up with his adoptive parents in East Berlin under the name Holger Bernhard Bruno Mischwitzky. After the escape to West Germany in 1953, the family lived at first in the Rhineland and eventually settled in Frankfurt am Main. In Frankfurt, von Praunheim attended a classical language high school but left already after finishing secondary school level. He started to study painting at Offenbach’s Werkkunstschule (today: Hochschule für Gestaltung – HfG). One year later, he transferred to Berlin’s Hochschule für Bildende Künste but did not graduate any of his studies. At this time, during the 1960s, he assumed his stage name Rosa von Praunheim, as reminiscence to his Frankfurt quarter Praunheim and to the “Rosa Winkel” (pink triangle) – the symbol, homosexuals had to wear in the concentration camps during the Third Reich.
In 1967, Rosa von Praunheim made his movie… read more