July 2017, arsenal cinema

Cruising the 1970s: MADAME X


The international research project "Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures" is putting on a conference at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (A Golden Age for Queer Sexual Politics? Lesbian and Gay Literature and Film in 1970s Germany), which grapples with lesbian and gay culture in divided Germany in the 70s. To open the conference, a film is to be shown which was of central importance for addressing lesbian relationships and sexuality in the 70s. MADAME X – EINE ABSOLUTE HERRSCHERIN (West Germany 1977) by Ulrike Ottinger tells the story of the adventurous ship journey by an entirely female crew under the aegis of Madame X. In 1978, Ginka Steinwachs referred to the film as a "torch for lesbian love and the expression of a revolutionary […] awareness" in the feminist magazine "Die Schwarze Botin". (bw). (20.7., with an introduction by Ulrike Ottinger)