It is not the Homosexual who is Perverse, But the Society in which He Lives(Forum 50)
Rosa von Praunheim’s second feature, about the rite-of-passage of a young provincial gay man in a big city, was bashed by right-wing conservatives for its subject upon its Berlin premiere in 1971. More surprisingly, the gay community also criticised him for his harsh depictions of one of his own – Von Praunheim’s protagonist tries and fails to set up a cozy family on his own, and eventually resorts to cheap sexual thrills in back alleys. Making Fassbinder mild and mousey in comparison, It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society In Which He Lives is designed to provoke, a militant call for gay people to stop dreaming about conforming to mainstream social norms and sign up for the struggle for a better day instead. Von Praunheim’s film is an important snapshot of the hopes and fears shaping the history of the fight for LGBT rights.
Rosa von Praunheim
Bernd Feuerhelm, Beryt Bohlen, Ernst Kuchling