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Slideshow

GREAT FREEDOM

Opens Friday, March 4

DIRECTED BY SEBASTIAN MEISE

Shortlisted for the Academy Award® for International Feature Film

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Franz Rogowski, Germany’s answer to Joaquin Phoenix, is all wiry, jolie laide, smoldering intensity. He stars as Hans, a gay man who, after surviving a Nazi concentration camp, lands repeatedly in West German prisons for the crime of homosexuality. Paragraph 175, the criminal code dating back to 1871 (in effect until 1994), is the lynchpin for what Austrian director Sebastian Meise calls “a prison drama and a love story.” Toggling through three eras (1945, 1957, 1968), Hans’s relationship with Viktor, a convicted murderer, becomes increasingly complicated and moving. A multi-prize winner in Europe, the film has been called “a perceptive character study about resistance and resilience, buoyed by Rogowski’s impeccable performance” (Gary Kramer, Salon) and “an exquisite marriage of personal, political and sensual storytelling…(with) another performance of quietly piercing vulnerability from Rogowski” (Guy Lodge, Variety).

Presented with support from the R.G. Rifkind Endowment for Queer Cinema

2021    116 MINS.    AUSTRIA / GERMANY    IN GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES    MUBI

Reviews

“(Features) the transfixing presence of Rogowski who once again shows immense talent. He gives Hans a depth… and is masterful in portraying the character in distinct periods of his life.”
– Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist

“A contemplative psychological study of the effects of incarceration, and beyond that, an unconventional love story, tender but unsentimental. Built around a moving characterization of defiant resilience conveyed with great restraint by Franz Rogowski. It’s a harsh story of inhumane violation as punishment for a victimless crime, but the drama also shimmers with desolate beauty. Rogowski is the smoldering center of the drama.”
– David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Film Forum