In most stories, the liberation of the concentration camps is the beginning of the end of a nightmare. But Austrian film “Great Freedom” shows that the truth wasn’t as simple for everyone.
In many cases, LGBTQ+ concentration camp inmates were simply transferred to prison cells. Germany’s Paragraph 175, a provision of a German criminal code that reigned from 1871 to (shockingly) early 1994, criminalizing all homosexual acts between men. The story is told through the eyes and heavy, wearied soul of the fictional Hans Hoffmann, who is repeatedly imprisoned over decades in post-World War II Germany for being gay. Over the course of his imprisonment, Hans forms a deep but often volatile bond with longtime cellmate Viktor, at turns platonic, romantic, sexual, and parasitic as Hans slowly resigns himself to the belief that life won’t change and his may perhaps even be best lived out within the drab, crumbling walls of the dank prison.