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Great Freedom (N/C 15+)

10 October

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Key

  • A Autism friendly
  • C Captioned
  • D Dementia friendly

Details

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Sebastian Meise’s searing prison drama is a captivating chronicle of queer history.

In post-war Germany, Hans (a remarkable performance from Franz Rogowski) finds himself repeatedly incarcerated in a high-security prison. With Paragraph 175 outlawing the ‘unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex’, Hans is continually forced to pay a heavy price for his desire to live an authentic life.

As the decades roll by, Hans finds a succession of lovers during his stints behind bars, but one constant emerges in his fractured existence – his friendship with cellmate Viktor. Serving a life sentence for murder, Viktor’s initial hostility and revulsion towards Hans slowly begins to thaw, and over time the unlikely pair develop an intense and primal bond.

Set across three different timelines, Sebastian Meise’s arresting drama offers a powerful reflection on historical injustice and the persecution of homosexuals, as seen through the eyes of one man. It is a hard-hitting, often uncompromising piece of work, yet beneath its tough exterior lies a deeply unsentimental, disarmingly tender love story that is almost impossible to forget.

While it smoulders with indignation for the injustice that was perpetrated for so many years, Great Freedom is also a love story, a remarkable character study, and an absorbing meditation on what long-term imprisonment for a crime that is not a crime does to the soul.

Screen Daily

London Film Festival screening

This screening is part of BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express. Information on the rest of the LFF screenings at GFT is available here.

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Description of image
  • Director Sebastian Meise
  • Cast Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke
  • Country Austria/Germany
  • Year of Production 2021
  • Langauge German with English subtitles
  • Running Time 1h56m
  • Certificate N/C 15+

All Monday to Friday shows before 5pm have capacity capped at 50% (unless otherwise stated). All other screenings have full unlimited seating capacity (unless otherwise stated).

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