BERLIN — Gay Nazis, the legacy of Chechnya, thesp Horst Buchholz and the true story behind “Dog Day Afternoon” are some of the subjects examined in the documentary section of the Berlin Intl. Film Festival’s Panorama sidebar.
The Panorama Dokumente lineup, announced Tuesday, is defined this year by politics, music, sex and gender.
Three German pics look at the Nazi regime: “Maenner helden und schwule Nazis” (Heroes and Gay Nazis) by Berlin-based helmer Rosa von Praunheim focuses on gays in the Nazi party and gays active in today’s neo-Nazi movement. In contrast, von Praunheim gives a concentration camp survivor a chance to express himself in “Umsonst gelebt — Walter Schwarze” (A Life in Vain — Walter Schwarze).
“Das Goebbels Experiment” (The Goebbels Experiment) by Lutz Hachmeister uses archive footage and journal entries to illustrate the Nazi leader’s erratic view of himself. The texts are spoken by Udo Samel and, in English, by Kenneth Branagh.
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With “2 oder 3 dinge, die ich von ihm weiss” (2 or 3 Things I Know About Him), Malte Ludin illustrates how deeply rooted is a family’s inability to come to terms with the fact that their father was a Nazi.
Three other German pics examine male violence and adolescence.
In “Weisse raben — alptraum tschetschenien” (White Ravens — Nightmare in Chechnya) by Tamara Trampe and Johann Feindt, Russian youths are sent off as soldiers to Chechnya and return home ruined in body and soul.
The German-Lebanese-Swiss-French co-prod “Massaker” (Massacre), by Monika Borgmann, Lokman Slim and Hermann Theissen, looks at men, now in their mid-30s, who as young men in Lebanon were turned into murderers by their military superiors.
“Lost Children” (Verlorene kinder), by Ali Samadi Ahadi and Oliver Stoltz, examines the cruelties inflicted upon kidnapped children by rebels in Uganda and Sudan.
Anti-Semitism in the U.S. is the subject of “Protocols of Zion,” a U.S. pic by Mark Levin about the startling success of the reprint of the book with the same name, which was originally published by the secret service of Russia’s last czar.
On a lighter note, Southan Morris’ U.K. entry “George Michael — A Different Story” conveys the pop singer’s views and their sociopolitical dimensions.
Jeff Feuerzeig offers a portrait of what is likely to be the least commercial star in the world in the U.S. pic “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” which shows that some underground bands managed to survive the ’90s. Similar evidence is provided by Antonia Ganz in her lively film about Berlin’s independent band Mutter, “Wir waren niemals hier” (We Never Were Here).
In “Horst Buchholz … mein papa,” Christopher Buchholz and Sandra Hacker look at the life of their German film star father, who died in 2003.
The German-Taiwanese co-production “Den tigerfrauen wachsen fluegel” (Tigerwomen Grow Wings) by Monika Treut presents three Taiwanese women who epitomize the diversity of the territory.
In addition to Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s “Inside Deep Throat,” the Panorama will screen Jim Tushinski’s “That Man: Peter Berlin,” about the native Berliner who became one of the first gay porn icons.
Walter Stokman’s Dutch pic “Based on a True Story” tells the true tale behind Sidney Lumet’s “Dog Day Afternoon,” about a bank robber desperate to finance his partner’s sex operation.
German pic “Gender X” reveals the extremely different self-image young gender-benders have in present-day Berlin.
How the Internet has come to monopolize sexual transactions is the subject of Jochen Hick’s German entry “Cycles of Porn — Sex/Life in L.A. Part 2.”
Swiss pic “Katzenball” (Feline Masquerade) by Veronika Minder takes a historical look at the lesbian world in Switzerland.
The selection for the Panorama’s main program and for Panorama Special and Panorama Short Film will be announced in coming days.