DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Desire Will Set You Free

Meander through the colourful and hedonistic queer scene of Berlin populated with exotic characters and manifold sexualities, in this new LGBT flick at the East End Film Festival in London

Take a leisurely stroll through the dark corners, derelict clubs and genuinely underground scene of one of the most sexually-progressive cities in the world: Berlin. You will come across proud punks, freaks, gay, lesbians, plus everything in-between and beyond. Sexual identity knows no bounds in the German capital.

This star-studded fiction movie is directed by the young and debutant American director Yony Leyser, and it features short appearances by music artists Blixa Bargeld, Nina Hagen, Peaches (pictured above) and also the legendary Chantal, a transsexual night life icon of Berlin. If you are a fan of indie music, glittery clubs with graffitied walls and a farmland of exotic nightlife creatures, you are sure to be pleased by this movie. A character sums it up: this if a place where “the smell of poppers floats down the sidewalk”.

The movie is based on the director’s own life as an American living in the city, and it does often feel as a foreign gaze at the city. The film is so personal that at times it if difficult to say whether it’s a fiction or a documentary. It follows Ezra (played by the filmmaker himself) on an adventure through Berlin’s subcultural life, where is joined by his Nazi-paraphernalia obsessed best friend Catharine, and his Russian boyfriend Sasha, whose relationship with his own sexuality and gender is more complex than it appears at first.

Desire Will Set You Free attempts to include every thinkable sexuality and group in the movie, in a borderline didactic fashion. It is never ageist, misogynous or body fascist: people of all shapes, colours and ages are an integral part of the story. Mama Hagen explains it in a very light-hearted fashion: “don’t be a lemon be sweet like tutti-frutti”.

Yet the film lacks cohesion in its narrative, plus the acting is lukewarm. It’s cute to watch, but it can get monotonous after a while. And despite its age, racial and sexual inclusiveness, it is too focused on one scene: the hedonistic Berlin queer world. It’s a touching and genuine film for those inside or at least familiar with this self-contained hedonistic universe, but it lacks appeal for a broader audience.

Desire Will Set You Free is showing this week as part of the East End Film Festival in London – click here for more information about the event.

You can watch the film trailer below:

.


By Victor Fraga - 30-06-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a di...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More

Our dirty questions to Shaun Dozier

 

Eoghan Lyng - 11-04-2024

The director of The Problem of the Hero, a drama about two American playwrights grappling with racism and misogyny 80 years ago, discusses the deceptive language of theatre, steering away from the "truth", the importance of "offending" viewers, how power relations have changed, and much more - in exclusive interview [Read More...]

The First Omen

Arkasha Stevenson
2024

Victor Fraga - 09-04-2024

Star-studded, elegant prequel of 1976 classic pays tribute to several horror movies, but not without some clumsy twists and turns - in cinemas on Friday, April 5th [Read More...]

The Top 5 dirtiest cricket movies ever made!

 

Mariano Garcia - 03-04-2024

Our writer Mariano Garcia reveals that cricket isn't just one of the most watched games on TV all over the world; it has also made a big impact on the silver screen! [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *