Coming Out

Original title: (Coming Out)
GDR, 1989, 113 min, color
In German; English subtitles

Tanya and Philipp work together and are both dedicated teachers. They become close and move in together. Tanya is very much in love and gets pregnant. Things get complicated for Philipp when he meets Matthias, however, as they fall passionately in love. Philipp struggles with his identity and what to do; it is hard to overcome years of repressing his sexuality. 


Coming Out premiered the night the Berlin Wall opened on November 9, 1989. It was filmed in part on location at gay hangouts in East Berlin, including the Friedrichshain Volkspark and the gay bars Schoppenstube und Zum Burgfrieden in Prenzlauer Berg. A little gem is a scene with the famous East German trans activist Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. 


This DVD was curated by Kyle Frackman (Univ. of British Columbia) in collaboration with the DEFA Film Library.

Special features:
  • New digitally restored HD transfer
  • Revised English subtitles
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • "Coming Out in East Germany," by Kyle Frackman (Univ of British Columbia) 
  • "DEFA's Coming Out," by former DEFA dramaturg Dieter Wolf
  • "Silver Bear, Golden Cadillac: An Interview with Dirk Kummer," (2020) 
  • Teaching Guide for Coming Out, by Kyle Frackman and Skyler Arndt-Briggs
  • Timeline: The Gay and Lesbian Movement in East Germany 
  • The Other Love (GDR, 1988, dirs. Helmut Kissling & Aexl Otten, 35 min., color, doc, EN ST) 
  • Interview with Matthias Freihof (Germany, 2020, dir. Bernd Sahling, color, EN ST) 
  • Interview with Dagman Manzel (Germany, 2014, dirs. Ferdinand Teubner, Katrin Teubner, 20 min., color, EN ST)


Coming Out

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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