‘Eismayer’ homosexuality and the military world

David Wagnerin his feature film debut, he decides to rely on a story that really happened. Eismayerinspired by the life of the sergeant major Charles Eismayer and the major Mario Falakembraces the homosexual theme in the most masculine and uncomfortable of territories: the military one.

Eismayer (emotionally overloaded Gerhard Liebmann) is a deputy lieutenant with a reputation for psychopathic training new Austrian recruits ready to join the army. In the group of students at the beginning of the course there is Falak (the empath Luka Dimić), an avowed young homosexual. His temperament and his mental freedom destabilize him. The secret of Eismayer it is an inner condition exactly opposite to the machismo and aggression it manifests in public. He has always had a double life (married and with a child) and has always hidden his homosexuality (which he regularly consumes in occasional relationships with young recruits).

But Falak it is a door that suddenly opens wide all that has been its existence: the attraction between the two grows, inexorable. The young man has no doubts and no limits on the forms to be given to a relationship that goes beyond pure physical and sexual attraction. Eismayer he is instead strongly fought: for him the military world will never accept two men in love and the possibility of living as a normal heterosexual couple.

Homosexuality from a precise perspective

The specificity of the reality that Eismayer tackles makes us aware of two situations: homosexuality in the military is, from a professional point of view, formally outdated. Which remains, in essence, a condition to be lived in a marginal perspective, in the realm of a strongly retrograde vision of the male, anchored to stereotypes expressed in an accentuated way in the first part of the film: the diktats, the screams of Eismayer, the concept of strength that the male must always and in any case embody. Pain, tiredness is not tolerated. Physical and emotional sensitivity are absolutely doomed. Not even considered, as a possibility for the masculine.

David Wagner outlines the narrative while keeping the distance from all the characters he films. He observes them through an invisible glass that he never crosses. The same marital relationship of Eismayer it is excessively cold, formal. The wife has no role other than the sounding board of the husband’s emotional one-sidedness. She records silences and unspoken passively, being shocked by a truth she probably never suspected.

The positive outlook that Eismayer transmits in the finale is a point in its favor also in outlining a theme, we can say it, now cinematically ‘fashionable’. That there is a need to recover from a lack of consideration, focus, exploration of a universe (homosexual, queer, gender) is undeniable. That it becomes the only transversal theme in narrating and making films, today, takes away all that density it deserves.

David Wagnersince 2003 in the film industry, he learned the trade on the sets of numerous productions. Acting coach, director, screenwriter and editor, he has achieved attention with his short films in important festivals, winning several prizes. The script of Eismayer won it Script Talent Award 2019.

‘Eismayer’ homosexuality and the military world