VOD Releases: Garden Of Stars (2016) - Reviewed

Co-Directed and Co-Written by Pasquale Plastino (A Flat For Three, Me Them and Laura) and Stephane Riethauser, (Boy On Film 9: Youth In Trouble) Garden of Stars is an acclaimed sixty minute LGBT documentary about an enchanted cemetery in Berlin, and it is welcomed to VOD June 13 and DVD September 5. 

This film catches the viewer's attention immediately from opening shot, with gorgeous views of the garden and cemetery, that continue on through out the movie. These shots are also accompanied by an old folklore tale by the Brothers Grimm that keeps the audience eager to be filled in every step of the way. This cemetery also happens to be the same one that they were buried in back in the mid 1800's. 

Ichgola Androgyn, who is the narrator of this film, brings such a positive energy through all the death and dark subjects spoken of, he is magnetic in the way he tells of his past and how he currently takes care of the café and cemetery, giving tours to high schoolers and keeping things close and friendly at the café, where there is not a ton of space, and that helps the people there come together and communicate with another. He is completely honest with how things were, good and bad, and still holds a very human, philosophical, friendly aura to him that you can not help but just want to make his acquaintance. 

The cemetery mostly consists of, but is not limited to, still born babies and gay men. This built a reputation for the place and it got some heat from being a "gay cemetery", but how can a cemetery be gay? It has no orientation, we are all equal in death. Ichgola is one of the few people that can take a dark situation like burying a stillborn, and not only can handle it, but he goes above and beyond in making sure everything is taken care of and it is treated with much grace and delicacy. Every day there are people from all over coming to visit the graves and memorials, whether it be to someone they knew personally, or going to blow glitter on Ovo's grave, who was Ichgola's lover. 

There is an over all mystical feeling to this documentary, despite touching on certain taboo subjects, the entire movie keeps your attention, and makes you feel like you have gained a new friend In the end. I don't know if I will ever be over in Berlin, but if that does happen, I will definitely be going to check out the Garden of Stars.

Share this review.

-Kirsten Anderson