eldorado everything the nazis hate netflix queer documentary
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warning: Adult content
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Benjamin Cantu
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July 17, 2023
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Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate

Just before the outbreak of World War II, amidst the social and political turmoil of the era, this documentary uncovers the hidden stories of Eldorado, a Berlin cabaret that served as a sanctuary for a vibrant, yet concealed, queer community.

During the 1920s and early 1930s, the Eldorado cabaret provided a haven for self-expression and freedom within the confines of a changing society. Away from the prying eyes and social constraints of the time, pulsating performances and burlesque spectacles enthralled an eclectic audience. Yet, beyond the walls of this sanctuary, the rise of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime loomed, ushering in an era of fear and oppression.

Director Benjamin Cantu, along with Matt Lambert as recreation director, masterfully weaves together historical accounts, expert insights, and personal narratives to recreate the essence of Eldorado. Drawing from a rich tapestry of interviews with historians, activists, and political science specialists, Cantu sheds light on the political and ideological landscape of the period.

Through meticulous research, the documentary meticulously reconstructs the lives of key figures, illustrating the struggles and resilience of the queer community. As Charlotte Charlaque, a trailblazing trans woman who underwent pioneering surgery. Gottfried von Cramm, a bisexual tennis champion. Ernst Röhm, a prominent figure within the Nazi party who harbored a secret gay identity and ultimately fell victim to Hitler's purges.

These compelling stories, interwoven with expert analysis, provide a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by queer individuals during this tumultuous era.

While the documentary's title may suggest a comprehensive exploration of Berlin's queer nightlife during the interwar period, "Eldorado" shifts its focus to illuminate the impact of political and social forces on the lives of queer individuals. It serves as a poignant reminder that even in periods of relative freedom, the threat of oppression and the erosion of hard-won rights can quickly emerge.

"This documentary comes at a time when we are witnessing a rise of far-right extremism, where the rights of women, trans, and queer individuals are not only being questioned but also actively rolled back. It is crucial to remember the history and remnants of this movement to avoid repeating the same patterns of the past. We must stand united and take action against these far-right movements." - Dany Niederhauser, Head of Editorial.

It draws a chilling parallel between the historical events of a century ago and the resurgence of far-right ideologies in our contemporary world. By highlighting the alarming similarities between past and present, the documentary serves as a poignant wake-up call, urging viewers to remain vigilant and protect the rights and freedoms of marginalized communities.

"Eldorado" is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of preserving and celebrating queer history. It serves as a reminder of the arduous journey towards equality and the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.

Set photography by Vincent Wechselberger


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