Rex Gildo - The Last Dance
Director: Rosa von Praunheim
GER 2022, 88 min., Color, OV with subtitles
In a typical mix of documentary and fiction, Rosa von Praunheim shows the light and dark sides of a life between public appearances and private longings.
Rex Gildo was very successful with his songs and music films. His best-known hit is "Fiesta Mexicana" from 1972. Rosa von Praunheim tells the story of his life in the social context of the gay movement, of the normative pressure of the hit industry and the serious changes of today.
He had dazzling looks, he could sing and dance, sold 40 million records, acted in over 30 films, and every child could sing along to “Fiesta Mexicana”. Rex Gildo was a star in Germany. But only his closest confidants knew that he and Fred Miekley, his manager/talent scout/patron, were lovers. To pre-empt press speculations about his homosexuality, Gildo even married his own cousin. After Miekley’s death, Rex Gildo’s career broke down and he battled a pill- and alcohol addiction. In 1999, he fell from the window of his apartment in Munich to his death. He was 63 years old.
Combining both fictional and documentary form, Rosa von Praunheim tells the tragic story of Rex Gildo’s life as an entertainer who had to lead a double life in the repressive society of the 50s and 60s, and still in his later life did not attempt to leave his hiding place. Newcomer Kilian Berger as the young Rex Gildo, Kai Schumann as the older Rex and Ben Becker as Fred Miekley all give brilliant performances in the fictional imaginings of Gildo’s life. The documentary scenes include interviews with “schlager” star Gitte Hænning or Cindy Berger about their time with Rex.
Cast and Crew
Actors: Kilian Berger (young Rex), Ben Becker (Fred Miekley), Kai Schumann (older Rex)
Interviewees: Gitte Haenning, Conny Froboess, Cindy Berger, and others
Camera: Lorenz Haarmann
Lighting: Elfi Mikesch
Production Design: Johanna Pfau, Marcus Lachmann
Scenario: Nico Woche, Rosa von Praunheim
Producer and Director: Rosa von Praunheim
In cooperation with Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), Südwestrundfunk (SWR), Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), Bayrischer Rundfunk (BR), Hessischer Rundfunk (HR)
sponsored by: Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
Rosa von Praunheim is considered one of the most important German film directors and a representative of postmodern German film in the genres of documentary, auteur and avant-garde film; the significance of his work for German film history and cultural landscape is undisputable. With his documentary classic IT IS NOT THE HOMOSEXUAL WHO IS PERVERSE, BUT THE SOCIETY IN WHICH HE LIVES, he paved the way for and co-founded the political gay and lesbian movement in the Federal Republic of Germany.His work includes numerous films, books, radio plays and plays for which he has received many awards. In 2015 he received the Federal Cross of Merit. Most of his extensive filmography is available in the missingFILMs distribution catalogue, including classics like DIE BETTWURST, THE LOST CITY or IT IS NOT THE HOMOSEXUAL WHO IS PERVERSE, BUT THE SOCIETY IN WHICH HE LIVES.
World Premiere: 30th August 2022 - Filmfest Munich
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