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The Einstein of Sex (1999)

Cast: Kai Schuhmann, Kai Schuhmann, Friedel von Wangenheim, more...
Director: Rosa Von Praunheim, Rosa Von Praunheim
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: TLA Releasing
Genre: Foreign, Camp, Biopics, Germany
Running Time: 103 min.

Recently Rented By Ptaines

Controversial German filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim narrates an unusual story in this dramatic feature film about the once world-famous sexologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. Founder of the world's first gay rights movement, as well as an influential thinker and researcher, Hirschfeld was a homosexual socialist Jew, which made it impossible for him to pursue his career in his native Germany during the 1930s. He was forced into exile in the U.S., where he earned the nickname 'Einstein of Sex.' The film reveals Hirschfeld through events, which involve the major figures in his life such as an unfulfilled love affair with Baron von Teschenberg; the happy years with young Karl Giese; his struggle with major gay opponent, right-wing writer Adolf Brand; and the presence of his guardian angel, the witty and courageous transvestite Dorchen. Interestingly, von Praunheim chooses a rather conventional narrative for this non-conventional subject, employing key episodes to build a provocative biography of a controversial figure. Der Einstein des Sex was screened in competition at the 1999 Locarno International Film Festival. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Magnus & Rosa - a documentary about the real Magnus Hirschfeld and the director Rosa von Praunhiem
  • Photo Gallery

GreenCine Member Reviews

amazing story, dissapointing film by simone53 November 14, 2006 - 1:47 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was really a visionary- a truly important figure whos work and ideas were decades ahead of our society, even a hundred years on.
Unfortunately, this film, while fairly accurate to Hirschfeld's story, is terribly akin to a two hour long cheesy PBS documentary-style re-enactment.
It does, to it's credit, give a taste of the period, and the dilemnas facing people of alternative sexuality in the late 1800's through the Weimar era right up to the emergance of the Third Reich.

Worth watching for the information about Dr. Hirschfeld, but be warned of the slow, not very accomplished film making.

Special features include a documentary, of sorts, which does provide more information about Hirschfeld's work and legacy, interviews with various people of interest and the rambling narration of Rosa von Praunheim, who, while often very sweet, seems a tad misguided.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.32)
40 Votes
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