Christopher and His Kind tells the story of Christopher Isherwood’s (Matt Smith) life in Berlin in the early 1930s. In 1931, Christopher leaves England for Germany. On the journey he meets Gerald Hamilton (Toby Jones) who invites him to stay at the boarding house he lives in.
Upon his arrival in Berlin, Christopher meets his friend Wystan Auden (Pip Carter), who takes him to the Cosy Corner, a seedy gay club.
Christopher moves into Gerald’s boarding house under landlady Fräulein Thurau (Issy Van Randwyck) where he builds a close friendship with Jean Ross (Imogen Poots), and also begins a stormy affair with Caspar (Alexander Dreymon). One day Caspar suddenly disappears and Christopher does not see him for many months, when he is appalled to find out Caspar has joined the Nazis.
Christopher then falls in love with Heinz Neddermayer (Douglas Booth). Heinz’s brother Gerhardt (Tom Wlaschiha), who is a Nazi sympathiser, loathes Christopher. Christopher and Heinz decide to leave Berlin as the Nazis gain power. They go to England but Heinz is denied a permit to remain in the country, so they decide to travel around Europe.
Several years later Jean and Christopher have a chance meeting in England. They reminisce and he tells her that Heinz was eventually arrested and sentenced to prison.
In 1952, Christopher returns to Berlin and He reunites with Heinz, who has since married and has a son called Christoph. The closing titles inform the viewer that in 1953, Christopher meets Don Bachardy, with whom he stays until his death.
“Smith is appealingly rakish, thoroughly disreputable, charming, posh, clever and funny – there’s something of John Hurt’s Quentin Crisp about him, a lovely portrayal.”
— Sam Wollaston, The Guardian
“The piquancy was mostly in the script, with Carter giving Auden the delivery his deadpan one-liners deserved. “I do loathe the sea,” he said, at one point. “It’s so wet and sloppy.”
— Chris Harvey, The Telegraph
“The real charm of Christopher and His Kind is in its performances. Current Doctor Who Matt Smith is brilliant as Isherwood – although he looks very different to the writer, his accent and mannerisms are spot on and his mischievous performance is a delight to watch.”
— P.H. Davies
Did You Know?
Matt Smith was not allowed to be shown nude in the film Christopher and His Kind because he was filming it during a break from playing Doctor Who. While filming took place in Belfast, There were strong protests from Ulster Unionists because of the giant Nazi swastika banners that needed to be hung on buildings. As a result, scenes requiring the banners were filmed very early in the morning or very late at night. Review our Gay Themed Films Here