Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin
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.
sexologist, gay/lesbian-rights, controversial, homosexual, cross-dressing, Germany, Nazi, transvestite