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Christopher and His Kind
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10 from 2,621 votes
Release: 19 March 2011 (UK) /

Christopher and His Kind

Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Geoffrey Sax,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: In 1931 budding author Christopher Isherwood goes to Berlin at the invitation of his friend W. H. Auden for the gay sex that abounds in the city. Whilst working as an English teacher his housemates include bewigged old queen Gerald Hamilton and would-be actress Jean Ross, who sings tunelessly in a seedy cabaret club. They and others he meets get put into his stories. After a fling with sexy rent boy Caspar, he falls for street sweeper Heinz, paying medical bills for the boy's sickly mother, to the disapproval of her other son, Nazi Gerhardt. With Fascism rapidly rising Christopher returns to London with Heinz but is unable to prevent his return to Germany when his visa expires. Years later Christopher, now a successful writer, returns to Berlin for a final meeting with Heinz, now married with children. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Critic Reviews


Inspired by Christopher Isherwood's 1976 autobiography of the same name Christopher and his Kind accomplishes it's greatest challenge in depicting the events and sights that would eventually inspire 1972's Cabaret, without actually imitating or reiterating the iconic Oscar-winner. BBC2's first-class feature-length dramatisation of Isherwood's formative years brilliantly presents the characters, proceedings, and atmosphere of 'thirties Berlin in embryonic form. The wonderfully witty screenplay smartly focuses on the Isherwoods' first travels to Berlin in 1931 and 1933, where both the romanticised sexual freedoms and the threat of fascism are seamlessly integrated into this snapshot of the inter-war years. Told retrospectively from an aging Isherwood, the film begins with the barely-published author taking the train to Berlin, at the urging of friend, WH Auden. Wisely, Isherwood is never portrayed as just a writer or observer, only briefly seen at the typewriter, and the film overcomes many of the obstacles in creating dramas based on writers to the extent that the publication of Isherwood's book 'Sally Bowles' remains just a passing reference, and receives little fanfare. Matt Smith is effortlessly perfect in the role of Isherwood displaying the ease with which Isherwood integrates himself into the sexual underground and 'divine decadence' of the club scene. If it was Smith's hope that this performance would inspire audiences to temporarily forget about his other BBC work then he has surely succeeded. Smith is perfectly accompanied by Toby Jones, as his rough-trade-loving neighbour and an impeccable Lindsey Duncan as his thoroughly British mother. Imogen Poots occupies the most difficult role as the proto-Sally Bowles, Jean Ross, all green fingernails and lousy torch-songs, a gift for any actress. Isherwood leaves Germany when it becomes clear that to stay would be fatal and unsuccessfully attempts to bring his German boyfriend back to Britain. The film closes with a brief post-war reunion between the two former lovers, and the difference between the two is made clear. Heinz, his German lover, is now married with a child and Christopher, as we know, is on the verge of being embraced by a burgeoning gay movement and meeting the man with whom he'll spend the rest of his life.

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