Rainbow’s End

2006 | Activism / Documentary / Homophobia / Human Rights / Immigration/Exile / Marriage Equality / Media Studies / Representation / Social Issues | 75m | Germany
Directors: Jochen Hick, Christian Jentzsch

Rainbow’s End is a revealing and entertaining multinational journey throughout Europe, examining the progress of the LGBTQ movement during the mid-aughts. From parades and protests in Warsaw and Krakow to touching personal stories with social, religious and political insights, the film delves in every corner of the debate from street activism to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

A starting point for any relevant discussion regarding LGBTQ rights within Europe and throughout the world. Canvassing the European countryside, Rainbow’s End covers significant territory from Berlin partygoers looking for an online hookup who stumble upon an activist organization’s website and rethink the relationship between queer culture and the internet to an English man fighting for the basic human rights of his lover who has been deported to Russia. The film delves into gay Arab men in the Netherlands, Polish protesters invoking memories of Auschwitz, and the violent hate crimes, providing a quick “101” on LGBTQ progress in Europe at the time, and invoking intersecting philosophies of nationalism, religion, and the neverending battles for human rights.

Reviews and Awards

“A focused, insightful film … recommended.” —P. Hall, Video Librarian

“ …the sheer volume of information presented is a fantastic primer for gay Americans wondering what’s on the minds of their European counterparts. In a world full of factions hostile to gay equality, it’s a good education to have about our obvious, though often ignored, allies.” —Metro Weekly, Washington, Will O'Brian

“The film’s extensive mapping of GLBT issues, political actions and organizations across a diverse landscape seems to point to a more critical and general theme—that complacency is dangerous if not deadly. As one of the film’s interviewees reminds us, Berlin in the 1920s was referred to as a gay and lesbian mecca where one might imagine one’s freedoms as secure, but by 1933 a radical change occurred in the political landscape and gays were amongst those deemed unfit for society and removed to concentration camps. Rainbow’s End calls us to pay attention to current changing political landscapes, to wake up and take action … Very useful documentary for courses related to GLBT Studies, Politics, Culture and the Media.” —Cade Bursell, Filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Cinema, Southern Illinois University Carbondale