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Great Freedom

Directed by Sebastian Meise
Austria, Germany
116 minutes
Unclassified 18+
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This era-spanning epic follows Hans (Franz Rogowski) in his quest for love and freedom as he is repeatedly imprisoned for being gay. Fast-tracked from Cannes Un Certain Regard.
Rogowski (also in Undine, SFF 2011; Transit, SFF 2018; Victoria, SFF 2015) is brilliant as Hans, who is in his twenties when first imprisoned under Paragraph 175, the longstanding German law that criminalised homosexuality. In postwar Germany, Hans is moved directly from a concentration camp to prison. His story takes shape over several decades. Even as German society changes drastically, Paragraph 175 stays firmly in place, and Hans is never out of prison for long. Over time, he develops a bond with long-term prisoner Viktor (Georg Friedrich, Wild Mouse, SFF 2017) who initially responds to Hans with repulsion. But Hans never gives up on his dream of finding love and attaining freedom, no matter how long it takes.
A film that plays absorbing games with historical and subjective time and, among its other qualities, is beautifully shot, manipulating light in ways that sometimes recall the paintings of Vermeer or Rembrandt.
Lee Marshall, Screen International
Chronicling an ignominious chapter in queer history, Great Freedom is also a contemplative psychological study of the effects of incarceration, and beyond that, an unconventional love story, tender but unsentimental.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter


Fri 5 Nov
Event Cinemas VMAX2
Book Tickets Cancel
Sun 14 Nov
State Theatre
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Sponsored By
Program Strand
Special Presentations
Original Title
Grosse Freiheit
Unclassified 18+
Austria, Germany
In German with English subtitles
Sebastian Meise
Sabine Moser, Oliver Neumann, Benny Drechsel
Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke
Thomas Reider, Sebastian Meise
Crystel Fournier
Cannes Selected, Biography, Gender & Sexuality, Human Rights, Politics & Economics, LGBTIQ+ Films
Company Credits
Sales Agent: The Match Factory
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