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Queer & Now & Then: 1977 and 2020

Queer & Now & Then: 1977 and 2020 9

In this biweekly column, Michael Koresky looks back through a century of cinema for traces of queerness, whether in plain sight or under the surface. Read the introductory essay.

Queer & Now & Then: 1977 and 2020 10

Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

I’ve never forgotten, and will likely never forget, when, during a lesson about the Holocaust, my 11th-grade history teacher told our class with matter-of-fact confidence that many men in the Nazi party were “homosexual fiends.” This was years before I would acknowledge my own homosexuality, but I knew well enough that this particular wording, this declaration of the “gay Nazi,” was being used to identify his aberrance more in relation to his gayness than even his fascism. The phrase came up ostensibly as a way to underline the somehow noteworthy hypocrisy of the Nazis—that, yes, they were marking homosexuals for death alongside Jews, Roma, and the disabled, but at the same time, so…

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