Pioneering (1919) LGTBQ film will be screened at the Strand

A still image taken from the 1919 silent film “Different from the Others,” thought to be the the earliest surviving film about LGBTQ people.

The Provincetown Film Society will present a special screening of “Different from the Others,” a 1919 silent film believed to be the first LGBT-focused film in history, at Dorchester’s historic Strand Theatre on Thurs., Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.

The screening of the film will be accompanied by original live music by well-known Provincetown entertainer Billy Hough and the Grammy winning tenor Jason McStoots. The pair performed at a screening at the Providence Film Festival earlier this fall to a sold-out audience.

That event, and the upcoming screening in Dorchester, are meant to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the earliest surviving film about LGBT people. A press release about the event included this synopsis of the film:

“Once feared lost, it’s believed to be the only gay-themed movie from Germany’s progressive Weimar era that survived destruction after Hitler took power. The film tells a compelling story of secrecy and oppression that continues to play out in today’s world. The film stars Conrad Veidt (Major Strasser in Casablanca) as Paul Körner, a violinist whose romance with a talented male student is thwarted when a blackmailer threatens to expose the relationship and Körner’s homosexuality, then a crime under Germany’s notorious Paragraph 175,” which was introduced when the German Empire was founded in 1871 and made “unnatural sexual offenses” between men punishable by up to six months in prison. It was formally abolished in 1994.

The December 5 event will include a Q&A panel featuring Michael Bronski, a Harvard professor and author of “A Queer History of the United States”; a raffle of Provincetown Film Festival passes and other prizes; and a bonus vocal set by Billy Hough.

Tickets are $25 and $20 for students. VIP tickets, which include a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., food tastings from participating local eateries, and reserved seating will also be available for $75. All tickets are available for purchase at provincetownfilm.org.