Friendship of Men

Dokus
Queer
| 85
German
| English

How gay was Goethe? And what about his contemporaries? How was homosexuality perceived by the society of the time and in what form was it experienced? In this docudrama Rosa von Praunheim looks into Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s sexual orientation, especially into his erotic experiences during his travels in Italy. Contrary to the common belief, von Praunheim argues that Goethe was not a heartbreaker and conqueror after all. It was only in Italy, that he had diverse sexual experiences, not least with men. Von Praunheim bases his assumption on letters written by Goethe to his friend Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi about these sexual encounters. At the same time, historians and linguists analyse and classify the letters into their historical context.