Frameline47: Drifter

  • A barechested guy examines the tattoos of another barechested guy who is laughing as a young blonde woman watches them with a cigarette

With romantic dreams of urban gay bliss, 22-year-old Moritz (Lorenz Hochhuth) moves to Berlin to live with his photographer boyfriend Jonas (Gustav Schmidt), only to find his life upended when the boy loses interest and asks him to leave. Alone in a new city where he doesn’t know anyone and with little more than a clarinet to his name, Moritz is pushed to reimagine his life as a single gay man in the hedonistic queer party capital of Europe.

Trading his nerdy (but cute) smalltown “boy in the band” appearance for a sort of Gen Z, genderfluid update to the classic punk/skinhead aesthetic, Moritz reintroduces himself to the city — to the diverse, multicultural community that occupies the DIY art galleries and sweaty all-night techno warehouses of the once-divided German capital. Director Hannes Hirsch describes Moritz’s navigation of self and search for connection a “kind of second coming out” — one which has become a rite of passage in recent years for young queers shortly after arriving in Berlin. But Drifter is hardly the cautionary tale of innocence lost we’ve all seen or heard before. For the film and its protagonist alike, looks can be deceiving.

Special guests: director Hannes Hirsch & screenwriter River Matzke

Presented as part of Frameline47 International Film Festival.

1h 19m
Hannes Hirsch
English & German
First Showing
June 20, 2023