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WATCH: A young man takes a sexual odyssey through Berlin in this queer tale of self-discovery

Image Credit: ‘Drifter,’ Berlinale

Just 22 years old, Moritz (Lorenz Hochhuth) moves to Berlin to be with his boyfriend, hoping the rest of his life will just fall into place once they’re together.

However, it’s not long after he arrives in the city that Moritz gets dumped, and any and all semblance of a life plan goes out the window. That’d be enough for most people to pack their bags and head back home, but Moritz decides to stick it out.

And so begins an odyssey of queer exploration and self-discovery in German filmmaker Hannes Hirsch’s Drifter, which is described as a “coming-of-age story with a difference.”

With a documentary-like approach, Drifter offers a tour of the bustling metropolis rich in LGBTQ+ history as Moritz traverses Berlin in search of connection.

Image Credit: ‘Drifter,’ Berlinale

Though he’s pretty sure he’s gay, the young transplant gives in to sexual abandon, pursuing the city’s endless possibilities. Gay? Straight? A light sampler of the S&M scene? Mortiz does it all, and the film thoughtfully tracks how each encounter gradually changes him into the person he’ll become.

Because it’s not just that Moritz is a “drifter” in a new city, but also a “drifter” through identity—experimenting, fooling around, trying things out to see what works for him.

The film is said to “look beneath the seductive surface of a night culture that knows no bounds and its short-lived games, revealing the actual people rather than celebrating the cliché.”

Hirsch calls Drifter his “personal love letter to Berlin’s queer scene,” and, fittingly, the feature will premiere later this month at the prestigious Berlinale international film festival.

From there, Drifter will head to London, where it will receive a special presentation as the closing night film of BFI Flare, the U.K.’s largest LGBTQ+ film festival.

Ahead of its Berlinale premiere, you can watch the first full trailer for Hannes Hirsch’s Drifter below:

Stay tuned for further festival dates, with wider release details yet to come.