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Queer pioneers: By-Products of Love

“By-Products of Love” champions three giants – Rosa von Praunheim, Elfi Mikesch and Werner Schroeter – of German underground cinema. It's on at Akademie der Künste through Aug 12. Here's our tips for this month.

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“By-Products of Love” champions three giants of German underground cinema.

All summer long, the Akademie der Künste celebrates the careers and friendship of Elfi Mikesch, Rosa von Praunheim and Werner Schroeter, three iconic directors of German underground queer film. Through an exhibition, screenings and events featuring big-name guests, “By-Products of Love” offers a comprehensive primer in the work of these postwar children of West Germany – work that offers radical perspectives on life, death, sexuality, gender and art.

Hailed for his brash political films, flamboyant style and outspokenness, Rosa von Praunheim is the best-known of the three. On June 3, you can catch him in conversation with protégés Julia von Heinz, Axel Ranisch, Robert Thalheim and Tom Tykwer.

Elfi Mikesch, winner of the 2014 Berlinale Teddy lifetime achievement award, will be present for a talk hosted by author Claudia Lenssen on June 16. The bond between the trio is perhaps best exemplified by Mikesch’s excellent Mondo Lux: Die Bildwelten des Werner Schroeter (screening June 26), which features one-time lovers Schroeter and Praunheim in front of the camera.

And don’t miss Schroeter’s 1980 masterpiece Palermo oder Wolfsburg (June 19), featuring a mesmerising turn in a “straighter” role by Schroeter’s long-time muse, the late Magdalena Montezuma.

Through Aug 12, Akademie der Künste, Mitte