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by Markus Stein


West Berlin, 1979. Jürgen Baldiga, son of a miner from Essen, has just arrived in the city and decides to become an artist. Working as a rent boy and cook, he writes poems and a diary. After learning that he has HIV in 1984, he discovers photography. He intends his images to stop time and capture reality. They reveal his friends and lovers, wild sex, life on the street and the camp queens from the SchwuZ gay club who become his adopted family. Oscillating between despair and desire, rebellion and the will to survive, Baldiga becomes a chronicler of the queer West Berlin subculture in the face of his own imminent demise. When he died at the age of 34 in 1993, he left behind thousands of photographs and forty diaries – a unique artistic legacy. Using poetic diary excerpts, stark images and memories from companions, Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz depicts not only a ground-breaking photographer but also an AIDS activist and committed fighter against the stigmatisation of gay people’s lives.

international title: Baldiga – Unlocked Heart
original title: Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz
country: Germany
sales agent: Autentic
year: 2024
genre: documentary
directed by: Markus Stein
film run: 92'
screenplay: Ringo Rösener
cinematography by: Florian Lampersberger
film editing: Brigitte Maria Schmidle
art director: Bianca Bluhm
costumes designer: Marie-Luise Wolf
music: Manuela Schininà, Eike Hosenfeld
producer: Olaf Jacobs
production: Hoferichter & Jacobs Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft

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