The Raspberry Reich is a 2004 film by director Bruce LaBruce which explores what LaBruce calls “terrorist chic”, cult dynamics, and the “innate radical potential of homosexual expression”.It is about a contemporary terrorist group who set out to continue the work of the Red Army Faction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang. The group consists of several young men, and a female leader named Gudrun (after Gudrun Ensslin). All of the characters are named after original members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang or revolutionaries such as Che Guevara.
They call themselves the “Sixth Generation of the Baader-Meinhof Gang” and “The Raspberry Reich”. “Reich” is a reference to communist sexologist Wilhelm Reich. In addition, the term “Raspberry Reich” was coined by RAF leader Gudrun Ensslin to refer to the oppression of consumer society. An “uncut” version of the film has been released, titled The Revolution Is My Boyfriend, edited by the gay pornographic film company Cazzo Film including erotic scenes edited out in the original version.
*Bruce LaBruce is a Toronto based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He began his career in the mid eighties making a series of short experimental super 8 films and co-editing a punk fanzine called J.D.s, which begat the queercore movement. He has directed and starred in three feature length movies, “No Skin Off My Ass” (1991), “Super 8 1/2” (1994), and “Hustler White” (1996). More recently he has directed two art/porn features, “Skin Flick” (2000)(hardcore version: “Skin Gang”) and “The Raspberry Reich” (2004)(hardcore version: “The Revolution Is My Boyfriend”), and the independent feature “Otto; or, Up with Dead People” (2008). After premiering at Sundance and Berlin, “The Raspberry Reich” took off on the international film festival circuit, playing at over 150 festivals, including the Istanbul, Guadalajara, and Rio de Janeiro International Film Festivals. He was also honoured with retrospectives at the end of ’05 at the Madrid and Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals. “Otto; or, Up with Dead People” also debuted at Sundance and Berlin and played at over 150 film festivals, culminating in a screening at MoMA in New York City in November of 2008. His new film, L.A. Zombie, starring French star Francois Sagat, premiered in competition at the Locarno International Film Festival in August, 2010. It will have it’s French premier at the L’Etrange Film Festival in Paris and its North American premier at the Toronto International Film Festival in Septemer. 2010. The hardcore version, L.A. Zombie Hardcore, will be released at Halloween, 2010.
LaBruce has written a premature memoir entitled “The Reluctant Pornographer”, from Gutter Press. The Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg, Canada published a book on LaBruce’s work, “Ride Queer Ride”, in 1998. In the past several years, LaBruce has written and directed three theatrical productions. “Cheap Blacky” (2007) and “The Bad Breast; or, The Strange Case of Theda Lange” (2009) were both produced at the Hau 2 and featured Susanne Sachsse and Vaginal Davis. “Macho Family Romance” (2009), commissioned by Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, also featured Ms. Sachsse and Ms. Davis. LaBruce was a contributing editor and frequent writer and photographer for Index magazine, and he has also been a regular contributor to Eye and Exclaim magazines, Dutch, Vice, the National Post, Nerve.com. and Black Book. He was also formerly a frequent photographer for the US porn mags Honcho and Inches, and has recently contributed to Butt, Kink, Jack, Currency, Kaiserin, and Slurp. As a fashion photographer he has contributed stories to such magazines as Dazed and Confused, Bon, Tank, Tetu, Fake, Attitude, Blend, Tokion, Purple Fashion, and the National Post.
LaBruce had his first solo show of photographs presented by the Alleged Gallery in New York in December 1999. He has had subsequent solo exhibits of his photographs at the Pitt Gallery in Vancouver, MC MAGMA in Milano, Italy, Bailey Fine Arts Gallery in Toronto, Peres Projects in San Francisco, and at John Connelly Presents in New York. His show “Heterosexuality Is the Opiate of the Masses” opened on July 16th/05 at Peres Projects in Los Angeles. In July/06 he mounted “Polaroid Rage: A Survey of Polaroids, 2000-2006” at Gallery 1313 in Toronto. He has also participated in numerous group shows. In October of 2006 he was the featured artist at the Barcelona International Erotic Festival. His latest solo shows include “Untitled Hardcore Zombie Project”, which opened at Peres Projects in Culver City, LA, on May 23rd, 2009, and “L.A. Zombie: The Movie That Would Not Die”, which premiered at Peres Projects Berlin on January 30th, 2010. LaBruce has also made a number of popular music videos in Canada, two of which won him MuchMusic video awards.