Different times, places and ideologies - Pink Apple has never encompassed such diversity! Looking at time first: The youngest work we will show is a world premieres made in Switzerland – the documentary “Red and Green” about HIV and Aids. Our oldest film, “Babylied” by Oskar Messter, was made in 1904 and belongs to a series of early films about cross-dressing and role switching, the “Hosen-Rocken-Picture-Show”, an eye opening spectacle. Homoeroticism is staged with light playfulness and coquetry – as well as gender hierarchy, which is easily unhinged by a simple change of clothes.
These film issues are not only as old as filming itself, but also illustrate early visions connected with the depiction of homosexuality. 110 years lie between “Babylied” and “Red and Green”, demonstrating a huge technical evolution. The “Hosen-Rocken-Picture-Show” is the only title this year still projected on filmstrips – so Pink Apple has definitely arrived in the digital era!
This year’s programme consists of 90 films from 25 countries. “Soongava”, the very first lesbian film from Nepal, for instance, is a milestone for the Asian country, which is only roughly three times as big as Switzerland. However, its dramatic plot also demonstrates how a progressive legislation – same sex marriages are soon to be recognised by the Nepalese constitution - may clash with a decidedly traditional society.
Pink Apple will also focus on South Africa by showing the works of Zanele Muholi. The highly esteemed photographer, who considers herself an activist, aims to enhance the visibility of the black lesbian community through her work, notably with her striking portraits in “Faces & Phases”. She has also documented the brutal marks of “hate crimes” and condemns the “corrective rapes” which are inflicted on South African lesbians in order to “heal” them.
Controversial signals also arrive from another hotspot of current politics. The feature film “Out in the Dark” and the documentary “The Invisible Men” from Israel/Palestine draw attention to the desperate situation of gays from Palestine. Exposed to life threatening discrimination, they often escape to Israel as illegal immigrants.
Bringing on lighter tones, the Israeli group Eurofalsh will show its performances of Eurovision songs. Another focal point of this year’s Pink Apple is the Eurovision Song Contest and its queerness. A film about the history of the ESC and a talk (“It’s Oh So Queer!” by Peter Rehberg) will highlight this phenomenon.
This year’s programme will also demonstrate how different the positions and demands of gay communities all over the world are. Whilst communities in western countries concentrate on their desire to have children, how to actually start a family and the legal prerequesites (“Right 2 Love”, “Gayby”, “Zwei Mütter”, “20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg”), gays and lesbians in other countries are first and foremost concerned with simply surviving, for instance in Uganda (“Call Me Kuchu”).
But all the same, many things have changed – at least here in western countries. Several retrospectives show this, for instance the French “Les invisibles” about elderly lesbians and gays, who talk about their long lives and tell us of the times when almost everything happened secretly and hidden away. “Out in Ostberlin, Lesben und Schwule in der DDR” features homosexual life behind the Iron Curtain. Two other themes are the history of the “Zürcher Kreis” in Stefan Haupt’s and Ivan Medeo’s film, and religion and homosexuality will be discussed in Frauenfeld, an issue that influenced Pink Apple in its early days, when Christian fundamentalists demonstrated against the festival. Bearing in mind that the acceptance of homosexuality is not simply a legal “problem”, but an issue that society in general should discuss over and over, our panels will cast further light on the topics homosexuality/homophobia and schools including the screening of “It’s Elementary” for teachers.
There is still a lot to be done. We will keep at it!
Your Pink Apple team