Christopher and His Kind

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.
Director(s): Geoffrey Sax
  2 nominations.
90 min

It's 40 years since I first wrote about

my time in Berlin.

And the book I'm now writing is perhaps

an attempt to set the record straight -

well, as straight as it's possible to be.

I destroyed my Berlin diaries, you see,

so I've had to rely a good deal on memory.

As to why I went in the first place,

my friend Wystan Auden was there

and encouraged me to join him.

I could also say I went because of

what was happening politically.

But in fact, I went because of the boys.

To me... Berlin meant boys.

Danke schn, mein Liebling.

# One man has hands that are tender

# One man has hands that are strong

# If I should choose to surrender

# My choices are bound to be wrong

# I might find my ideal lover

# If I search both far and wide...

My dear, that simply won't do.

You're the very last person

who ought to go there.

Berlin isn't the right place for you at all.

What on earth do you mean?

It's German, darling.

Wystan Auden thinks

it's the most marvellous place.

Auden! Such an untidy boy.

Besides, what about medical school?

But, Mummy, I am not cut out for medical


That's exactly what you said about Cambridge.

Christopher, you cannot go through life

shirking it. It's time you buckled to.

- I'm a published novelist.

- Of course you are, darling.

But wouldn't it be so much nicer

to be a doctor as well?

It isn't a hobby, you know.

Any normal mother would be proud.

And I am proud, my sweetheart.

You know I found your novel most interesting.

I thought it was ingenious the way you used

your antipathy to me to such creative effect.

But you cannot expect life

to be one long holiday.

I'm not going there on holiday.

I'm going there to get away from you.

Couldn't you go somewhere a little closer -

like the Isle of Wight?

# I don't know to whom I belong

# It would be such a shame

to end up on my own

# If I make myself true to one

# How another will surely be sad and alone

Of course you must do as you wish.

I fully intend to.

It's only natural that you should want to flee

the nest just as I'm bound to get more lonely.

What I went through to bring you into this world.

Months and months of feeling really quite seedy.

Oh, well.

So be it.

You won't forget, will you, darling...

...that the Germans killed your father?

Take me with you.

You have to stay and look after Mummy.

But for how long?

I'm afraid I can't answer that.

# If I make myself true to one

# How another will surely be sad and alone

# Should such a beauty belong to one person?

# No, surely, the sun and the stars

# They belong to us all

# I don't know to whom I belong

# I believe I only belong to myself

Danke. Vielen Dank.

I was wondering...

Do forgive me, dear boy,

I didn't mean to startle you.

- No, no.

- Could I trouble you for a light?

Yes, of course.

I seem to have mislaid my lighter...

Oh, thank you, dear boy.

It may have been... Would you mind if I...

- No, no.

- How kind.

It may have been stolen.

Oh, dear.

One has to be so careful nowadays,

don't you find?

Are you going all the way?

- Excuse me?

- To Berlin.

Oh, yes.

- Holiday?

- I'm hoping for a little more than that.

Ah, yes, well.

Berlin has so much to offer in certain respects.

- Do you live there?

- For now.

One never knows what a new dawn may bring.

I hope you don't think I'm prying, dear boy,

but do you have accommodation in Berlin?

I do, as it happens.

The reason why I venture such impertinence

is that my landlady, dear sweet woman,

is desperate for a reliable lodger.

Her landlords are ruthless,

and if they knew

that she didn't have the full quota,

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Christopher Isherwood

Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood (26 August 1904 – 4 January 1986) was an English-American novelist. His best-known works include The Berlin Stories (1935–39), two semi-autobiographical novellas inspired by Isherwood's time in Weimar Republic Germany. These enhanced his postwar reputation when they were adapted first into the play I Am a Camera (1951), then the 1955 film of the same name, I am a Camera; much later (1966) into the bravura stage musical Cabaret which was acclaimed on Broadway, and Bob Fosse's inventive re-creation for the film Cabaret (1972). His novel A Single Man was published in 1964 and adapted into the film of the same name in 2009. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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