Great Freedom (Grosse Freiheit)
Directed by Sebastian Meise
$12 / $8 Speed members
“An exquisite marriage of personal, political, and sensual storytelling.”—Guy Lodge, Variety
In Germany after WWII, the liberation by the Allies did not mean freedom for everyone. Hans (Franz Rogowski—last seen at the Speed Cinema in Undine) has been found guilty of something the government deems a crime: he is gay. Under the 19th-century German penal code known as Paragraph 175, homosexuality is grounds for imprisonment, and Hans–over the course of multiple decades–is spied on and repeatedly jailed solely for his sexuality.
As he returns to prison, again and again, Hans develops an ever-closer relationship with his cellmate Viktor (Georg Friedrich), a convicted murderer serving a life sentence. As their charged rapport blossoms over time into something far more tender, Great Freedom explores love, lost time, and the tenacity of the human spirit. Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 2021, Austria/Germany, DCP, in English and German with English subtitles, 116 minutes. Recommended for 17+.