Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz

Baldiga – Unlocked Heart
West Berlin, 1979. Jürgen Baldiga, son of a miner from Essen, has just arrived in the city and decides to become an artist. Working as a rent boy and cook, he writes poems and a diary. After learning that he has HIV in 1984, he discovers photography. He intends his images to stop time and capture reality. They reveal his friends and lovers, wild sex, life on the street and the camp queens from the SchwuZ gay club who become his adopted family. Oscillating between despair and desire, rebellion and the will to survive, Baldiga becomes a chronicler of the queer West Berlin subculture in the face of his own imminent demise. When he died at the age of 34 in 1993, he left behind thousands of photographs and forty diaries – a unique artistic legacy.
Using poetic diary excerpts, stark images and memories from companions, Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz depicts not only a ground-breaking photographer but also an AIDS activist and committed fighter against the stigmatisation of gay people’s lives.
by Markus Stein
with Jürgen Baldiga, Timo Lewandovsky, Bernd Boßmann, Ulf Reimer, Birgit Baldiga, Bernd Gaiser, Juliette Brinkmann, Kaspar Kamäleon, Keikawus Arastéh, Volker Wierz, Manuela Merkel, Sakine Meral, Hermann Jansen, Ingo Taubhorn
Germany 2024 German 92’ Colour & Black/White World premiere | Documentary form


  • Jürgen Baldiga
  • Timo Lewandovsky (Tima die Göttliche)
  • Bernd Boßmann (Ichgola Androgyn )
  • Ulf Reimer
  • Birgit Baldiga
  • Bernd Gaiser
  • Juliette Brinkmann
  • Kaspar Kamäleon
  • Keikawus Arastéh
  • Volker Wierz
  • Manuela Merkel
  • Sakine Meral
  • Hermann Jansen
  • Ingo Taubhorn


Director Markus Stein
Screenplay Ringo Rösener
Cinematography Florian Lampersberger
Editing Brigitte Maria Schmidle
Music Manuela Schininà, Eike Hosenfeld
Sound Design Claus Stoermer, Manuela Schininà
Sound Claus Stoermer, Manuela Schininà, Toni Gräfe
Production Design Bianca Bluhm
Costumes Marie-Luise Wolf
Make-Up Anja Hartung, Andrea Dorn
Producer Olaf Jacobs

Markus Stein

Born in 1965, he worked as a camera assistant and assistant director before studying directing at the Polish Film School in Łódź. He has since worked as a director, screenwriter, cinematographer and editor on numerous documentaries and fiction films. The formal decisions in his work focus on the people who are being portrayed and his subjects, themes and genres are correspondingly diverse. He currently lives and works in Berlin.


1998 The Beginner; short film 2008 Balkan Traffic – Übermorgen nirgendwo; documentary, co-directors: Milan V. Puzic 2012 Unter Männern – Schwul in der DDR; documentary, co-directors: Ringo Rösener 2014 Nur der Pole bingt die Kohle; documentary 2024 Baldiga – Entsichertes Herz (Baldiga – Unlocked Heart); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024