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Hedwig and the angry inch

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Adapted from the critically acclaimed off-Broadway rock theatre hit, Hedwig and the angry inch tells the story of an "internationally ignored" rock singer, Hedwig Schmidt (John Cameron Mitchell) and her search for stardom and love. Born a boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig reluctantly submits to a sex change operation in order to marry Luther, (Maurice Dean Wint), an American GI and get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. The operation is botched, leaving her with the aforementioned "angry inch". Finding herself high, dry and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, she pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protégé in young Tommy Gnosis (Michael Pitt), who eventually leaves her, steals her songs and becomes a huge rock star.

A bitter yet witty Hedwig with her pan-Slavic band, The Angry Inch, shadows Tommy's stadium tour, performing in near-empty restaurants for bewildered diners and a few die-hard fans. Through a collage of songs, flashbacks and animation, Hedwig tells her life story while on a tour of chain strip-mall seafood restaurants, trying to capitalise on her tabloid celebrity as the supposed ex-lover of famed rock star, Tommy Gnosis. Somewhere between the crab cakes and the cramped motel rooms, between the anguish and the acid-wash, she pursues her dreams and discovers the origin of love.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Hedwig and the angry inch image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama musical rock transsexual romance relationship plagiarism German

Persons of interest

  • John Cameron Mitchell .... Hedwig Robinson/Hansel
  • Michael Pitt .... Tommy Gnosis
  • Miriam Shor .... Yitzhak
  • Stephen Trask .... Skszp
  • Theodore Liscinski .... Jacek
  • Rob Campbell .... Krzysztof
  • Michael Aronov .... Schlatko
  • Andrea Martin .... Phyllis Stein
  • Ben Mayer-Goodman .... Hansel
  • Alberta Watson .... Hansel's Mother/Hedwig Schmitt
  • Gene Pyrz .... Hansel's Father
  • Maurice Dean Wint .... Sergeant Luther Robinson
  • Sook-Yin Lee .... Kwahng-Yi
  • John Cameron Mitchell .... Screenwriter
  • Stephen Trask .... Screenwriter
  • Stephen Trask .... Composer
  • John Cameron Mitchell .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Definitely not The Rocky horror picture show but if I had to compare Hedwig and the angry inch to another film, then Rocky horror would have to be it. Hedwig is a rock-punk black comedy musical that pulls no punches about being born with the wrong genitals (and one way of getting around that). There is little of the high camp that pervades Rocky horror, mired as it is in the infinitely less glamourous world of the trailer park. Even Hedwig's drag-style cabaret is at the grittier end of the spectrum.


If you want to see a film that's as off the edge as you are, Hedwig and the angry inch will give you everything that you desire (or is that deserve?) and more. Go hard.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Adult themes, medium level sex scenes)

Surveillance time

91 minutes (1:31 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 1 November 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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