Privacy Policy   Home > Portfolio > Cinema > Talk Straight > Synopsis



klicken öffnet Filmplakat in neuem Fenster


A controversial documentary about four gay men, who are living on the countryside of Swabia (a rural area in the south west of Germany) far off big cities. Being alone as Gays among a entirely heterosexual environment, they still try to live a rich and happy life.

Interview with Jochen Hick (english)

Synopsis in french (en francais)
AG-Dok Documentary Association's page for TALK STRAIGHT (external link)
Download official Berlin film fest catalogue information about TALK STRAIGHT (ext. link 520 kB PDF file)
Press reviews (English & German language)
Download Synospsis and technical information (English) as Word file


In big cities discrimination against homosexuality and gay way of life is not a big issue anymore. Gay mayors and football club association presidents are no longer colourful exceptions to the rule, rather they have become an expression of normality. In rural areas, however, the definition of what is normal is quite different. Out here, normal means a husband, wife and children "the nuclear family". In the country, expressions such as "proofter" are still common parlance and mothers are ashamed if their sons fail to bring home a girlfriend.

Hartmut, Richard, Stefan and Uwe are all gay men who live in the country. They punctuate their rural existence with brief but regular sojourns in Berlin, Zürich or Thailand. These four men have learned to live with the fact, that their lifestyle is met with a volley of abuse from their heterosexual friends and acquaintances in the church choir and at the local pub.

Jochen Hick's film provides an insight into a largely unknown world. The audience follows the lives of the protagonists via the comments of their heterosexual environment. Expressed in the local dialect, the often comical and regular surprising comments on homosexuality demonstrate just how deep the gulf is between what is supposedly normal and what comprises a deviation from the norm. The film provides a bitterly comical portrait of a heterosexual perspective on gay men in Germany's country towns.

German poster for theatrical release.


SYNOPSIS (en francais)

Dans les grandes villes, la discrimination de l’homosexualité et des mœurs gays n’est plus à l’ordre du jour. Un maire ou un président de club sportif homosexuel ne constitue plus une exception, c’est l’expression de la normalité. A la campagne, la normalité se définit autrement. Etre normal, ici, c’est le mari, la femm et des enfants – la petite famille. En provence le « sale pédé » est encore désigné publiquement par ce vocable. Les mères ont honte si les fils ne ramene pas de petite ami à la maison.

Hartmut, Richard, Stefan et Uwe sont des homosexuels qui vivent à la campagne. En soffrant de temps en temps une petite évasion á Berlin et Zurich ou en Thailande. Ils ont tous les quatre appris à supporter tail que leur style de vie soit l’objet de commentaires peu amènes de la part de leurs connaissances et amis hétérosexuels que ce soit à la chorale de la paroisse ou à la brasserie du village.

Le film de Jochen Hick donne un apercu de leur quotidien, méconnue de la plupart des gens. Le public suit la vie des protagonistes à travers des commentaires de leur entourage hétérosexuel. L’expressions de ces commentaires bigarrés, souvert grotesques et toujours surprenants sur l’homosexualité montre le fosse profond qui existe encore entre « normalité » et altérité. Une vision hétérosexuelle amèrement comique des homosexuels masculins dans l’Allemagne profonde.


INTERVIEW with Jochen Hick by Bruno Saito (Folha de Sao Paulo, S.P., Brazil)

Q: How did you get the idea to make TALK STRAIGHT?
When I visited my parents in Stuttgart (the home town of Porsche, Mercedes and Bosch), while going out, I met a lot of gay people who drove more than 3 hours (ony way) from their little rural villages, just to be able to drink a beer in a gay bar of Stuttgart. I wanted to know, how they organize their gay life back where they come from. The south-west of Germany is a quite conservative are where the christian-democrats rule and both protestant and catholic church still have quite of an influence on daily life.

Q: What was your idea for the film?
I have always done films in big gay metropoles, like New York, San Francisco and New York, where gay people have their own society, almost excluding any heterosexual moment. Germany is very proud about their partnership laws and their openly gay mayor of Berlin. But what does this really change in the life of gay men and women, who live in little villages, where they are the only known or unrevealed gay citizen.

Q: How did you get in contact with your protagonists?
Always by referral, it took a long while, almost two years until we have found all of them. It was sometimes even more difficult to make their friends and family members join the film as well, since we did want to show all persons in their surrounding.

Q: In big cities, being gay doesn’t seem to be a big thing anymore. Why do you think your protagonists still have to fight so much against prejudices?
I think we are not living in a such an progressive society as we sometime tend to think. The liberalism for sexuel diversities we are living in right now might ot be as profound. We met heterosexuals who told us that they already seem to be a minority, since the tv-channels would be full of gays and lesbians, which is definitely not true for Germany.

Q: Do you think there is a connection between how far a society is developped and educated and how tolerant it is against gays and lesbians?
I have to say that the area we have been filming in is not at all underdevelopped. It’s the region with the highest quantity of universities per head in Germany and also very wealthy. This – for me – made it even more astonishing. But by the way, you would not need to spend a lot of time to find very antigay or ignorant voices in Berlin or Sao Paulo. Just that there it’s a little bit less political correct to say it upfront.

Q: Why does homosexuality seem so threatening especially for people from small villages?
No idea why they react like that. Maybe because they think in their village every sign of being beyond the “normal” is the beginning of decadence and decay. But also because the mechanisms of social control are much more intact than in bigger cities.

Q: Have you been in contact with your protagonists after the filming?
Yes sure, I am very much in contact with all of them. They seem very happy with it an have attended personally as many festival screenings as possibly. In January the films starts theatrically in Germany and they are already looking forward to it. This is a much different approach than at the beginning of the shoot, when they were more reluctant, if not even a bit anxoius about the project.

Q: What do you consider as “normal” or “abnormal”?
“Normal” still tends to be what the majority does, I think this will never change profoundly. But it can become a more normal situation to accept the “non mainstream”.

Q: What do you think might be the region for people in rural areas to first hide and finally come out?
They think they will never be happy if they hide. One person in the film, Hartmut, he only came out when he got his positive HIV test and the reactions of his surrounding where by far not as horrible as he expected them to be. He regrets a lot for not having it done decades earlier, because hiding his homosexuality really messed up his life.

Q: What is your conclusion after having completed that film?
Never trust the liberalism which media tries to make us believe. The freedom of choices is still not existent for many gay and lesbians. I was surprised how much the life situation of the portrayed persons could be unterstood in foreign countries, even on screenings in South America like in Bogotá. And I am of course happy that the film won the Teddy Award for the Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival this year.



Privacy Policy    Can you see only one single frame? Then pls. click here for Homepage / First Page / Directory.
Galeria-Alaska - All Rights Reserved.
Site by Woolythinkers.