Friday, April 19, 2019

"Bent": 1997 concentration camp film focuses on Nazi treatment of gay men, based on Martin Sherman's play

I saw the 1997 film “Bent” (Film Movement and Samuel Goldwyn), directed by Sean Mathias, based on the 1979 play by Martin Sherman, in Minneapolis shortly after I had moved there.  I may have seen it in the Bell Auditorium at the University of Minnesota.

On the late 1930s in Germany, Max (Clive Owen), takes home a Nazi stormtrooper posing as a gay trick, to the chagrin of his boyfriend.

He is taken to Dachau, does the work details and befriends another prisoner but “chooses” to wear the yellow star for Jews rather than a pink triangle.

The initial processing scene is quite striking.  Not only is Max’s head shaved (no surprise) but his wad of chest hair is loped off in camera like it as an afterthought.

The playwright wrote the script, and the film often looks like a filmed stage play.

P.D. wikipedia credit for Dachau image. 

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