Archive for Sexology
Another area of sexological activity that deserves to be recalled is the production of films. Iwan Bloch, even before the end of the first World War, served as an advisor for a dramatic film about the problem of syphilis: Es werde Licht ("Let There be Light", 1916-18). This film was also supported by the Medical Society for Sexology and eventually grew into a project of several parts. Its director was Richard Oswald, later also successful with nonsexological films in Berlin and Hollywood. Oswald further made several films in close collaboration with Magnus Hirschfeld, of which the best known is perhaps Anders als die Andern ("Different from the Others", 1919), a plea for the decriminalization of homosexual behavior. In this film, Conrad Veidt, who later played the Nazi officer in "Casablanca" opposite Humphrey Bogart, appears as a homosexual violinist who is blackmailed and commits suicide. It was the first popular film ever to deal with homosexuality, and at least parts of it are preserved in various film archives. How many of the other films made with Hirschfeld are still in existence is unclear. Hirschfeld himself mentions five films in his last list of publications.
Full-length dramatic and documentary films made with sexologists as advisors
Another important contribution was the Steinach Film (1923), produced with Austrian support by the Berlin film company Ufa. In documentary fashion, it introduced a wider public to the endocrinological studies of Eugen Steinach. This full-length sexological film was also briefly shown in New York before the Medical Society, but did not find an American distributor.
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