Anders als die Andern

Anders als die Andern (different from the others)

Super 8 film, 3 mins, looped & found photograph, 2009. Collaboration with Caroline McCarthy.

The film is a re-staging of a production shot of the cast from Different From The Others (German: Anders als die Andern), a German film produced during the Weimar Republic. It was first released in 1919 and is recognized as one of the first sympathetic portrayals of homosexuals in the cinema. The film was re-staged with the inhabitants of Liebig 34, a queer feminist house project in Berlin. The story for Anders als die Andern was written by Richard Oswald with the assistance of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, who also had a small part in the film and partially funded the production through his Institute for Sexual Science, with the aim of presenting the story as a polemic against the then current laws under Germany’s Paragraph 175. Paragraph 175 made homosexuality a punishable offense. Censorship laws enacted in reaction to films like Anders als die Andern eventually restricted viewing of this movie to doctors and medical researchers, and prints of the film were among the many “decadent” works burned by the Nazis after their regime came to power in 1933. Some portions of the film have survived, and can be viewed today as an invaluable glimpse at both cinematic history and homosexual history.