Three from WaterBearer

Three from Water Bearer Films

“PRINCE IN HELL”, “HEAT AND LUST” and “THE OLD TESTAMENT”

Amos Lassen

‘Prince in Hell” (Water Bearer Films) is a German erotic, exotic, romantic, realistic movie. The action occurs after the reunification of Germany. It centers on two guys, Stefan and Jockel who attempt to build a relationship but the world of drugs and green eyed jealousy block them from doing so. Gritty and honest, like most German films, it shows what we know as the counterculture, the street life. It is the world of sadomasochism and the neo Nazi movement and it is not a pretty place. “Prince in Hell” is Germany’s contribution to what is now called the “new Queer cinema”. The film shows the underground of Germany’s sex club culture and emphasizes the “I don’t give a f*** attitude.” It is nihilistic world of a Germany after the war, a Germany that has begun her rise for having been beaten down but is still filled with great turmoil.

The lovers live in a trailer which is psychedelically painted on the outskirts of town. Micha is a third in their strange relationship and both lovers vie for his attention. Jockel is hooked on heroin and Stefan desperately tries to wean him from his habit. The movie is compulsive viewing and there are times that you want to turn away from the screen. It provides an insight into Germany that not many have the chance to see. The film is not an easy one to watch but it is a bold look at the way some of our community lives. It is well directed and finely acted. I think the main problem is the subject matter, Gay life in Germany is quite different from here in America and therefore it is somewhat alien to us. Nevertheless, the film is fascinating and a unique look at a different way of life.

“Heat and Lust” is soft-core porn but beautifully photographed. Filmed on the magical island of Ibiza, it tells the story of two guys form Britain on vacation which is really a sexual holiday and the men simply yell, “Next”. The guys in the movie are hot, the story is almost nonexistent. Alex and Ben are lovers who have been together for some time. Alex runs into Ben in a gay bar on the island and makes plans to meet him the next day without telling his partner. They have an affair and in the days after the meeting their relationship becomes quite intimate. Carlos and his boyfriend Luis decide to hatch a plot which will make Alex closer to Ben even while   he is cheating on him. As the guys pair off, the action becomes hotter and hotter and the climax comes in a beautiful scene of soft-core sex on the beach. Instead of anyone being angry with the cheating, they simply swap partners and the sex gets wilder and wilder. For a soft-core flick, there is plenty to look at and even without a real storyline; this is quite an enjoyable movie. In effect it is a story of love and relationships.

Do not let the title “The Old Testament” mislead you. It is one of China’s first openly gay movies. It originally was underground film that made it to the big screen. It looks  into the gay scene in a world surrounded by Communist borders. “The Old Testament” is made up of three short films which are tied together by Old Testament references and dealing with AIDS, homophobia and sexuality. “Proverbs” tells the story of a bisexual married man, his gay lover and his wife and the realization that neither is really happy with him.. “The Song of Solomon” tells of a guest who is suffering with AIDS who comes to visit his former lover who is now with his new boyfriend. Attempting to find care for the gust, the lovers are forced into examining their own relationship and discover it is not as it should be. “Psalm” examines straight couple who want to stop the husband’s younger sibling from sleeping with another man.

This is a low budget movie but it is to be regarded highly for what it tries to do—give a glimpse at gay life in the communist world. Additionally there  are some beautiful acapella musical interludes. What the movie does do more than anything else is provide hope to the people living in a communist world. This movie could be the key that opens the door to the West.

Water Bearer has some fascinating titles in its catalog and I am looking forward to reviewing many of them. The releasing company has been a mainstay in the filed of gay cinema and always produces quality. Stay tuned to more form Water Bearer.

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