The Nazis set out to destroy every copy of films Differents From the Others, the earliest known surviving film that records a romance between two men. But they missed one partial reel.That reel has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in partnership with Outfest. And it will make its East Coast premiere Friday as a centerpiece screening in NewFest, the New York LGBT Film Festival.Released in 1919, during the time of Germany’s Weimar Republic, Others was revolutionary in its sympathetic portrayal of a gay violinist and his relationship with a young protégé.Highly controversial, the silent film was cowritten by a pioneering LGBT activist, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, and openly criticized a German law, Paragraph 175, which criminalized homosexuality. Its subject matter sparked censorship laws that closed the door to LGBT cinema for half a century.
The silent movie will screen this weekend in 35-millimeter film with accompaniment from pianist Steve Sterner. A panel on its significance will follow, featuring speakers Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk, The Celluloid Closet), Noah Isenberg, journalist Manuel Betancourt; and the Museum of Modern Art’s Ashley Swinnerton.Catch it Friday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern at the SVA Theater. And don’t miss over 100 other films, panels, and parties at NewFest, which runs until Tuesday.