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TALK STRAIGHT: THE WORLD OF RURAL QUEERS

Germany, 2003 (MIFF 2003, Documentaries)

Director: Jochen Hick

"I had a homosexual dog and I beat it to death. So is my son, but I can't beat him to death." Jochen Hick scandalised and titillated MIFF audiences in 1998 with Sex/Life in LA. His latest project turns the lens on his homeland with alternatively mirthful and moving results and no small measure of pathos. Berlin may have a gay mayor but in the German countryside prejudice is alive and well. In small town Deutschland, opinions on homosexuality range from funny to frightening.

Hick is wise enough not to become mired in the negative. His chats with a gay forest ranger result in some riotously funny anecdotes about supposedly butch truck drivers and two-fisted loggers. A clubbing trip to Berlin for one camouflage fetishist turns up allies in the strangest places. Recipient of the Best Documentary award at this year's Berlin Film Festival, this is a warm but cautionary tale.

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