Painstakingly restored by the Munich Film Museum, Laws Of Love (Gesetze der Liebe) is structured as a series of lectures from pioneering scientist and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld.
Hirschfeld founded the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (SHC), which deployed scientific theories of human sexuality to advocate for the recognition of LGBTQ+ people, and campaigned against their legal persecution.
Gesetze der Liebe grew out of Hirschfeld’s first foray into film – the path-breaking gay rights fiction feature Different from the Others (Anders als die Andern, 1919), which Hirschfeld co-wrote and which he appears as himself, delivering some of the lecture material later transferred into Laws of Love.
Through the lectures, Hirschfeld explores the prevalence of non-heteronormative behaviour in the natural world, to expose the injustice of Paragraph 175 – Germany’s anti-sodomy penal code at the time. The film is considered to be an influential example of the ‘enlightenment film’ trend that was popular throughout Weimar-era Germany.
Presented in partnership with Queer Vision.