With LA Pride just a few months away, a documentary being screened for free in West Hollywood on Friday illustrates the challenges LGBT people also have faced on the other side of the world.

“Hot Men Cold Dictatorships” tells the life stories of seven gay men from two generations in Hungary. The men discuss their experiences before and after the fall of Communism in the country. The history of the Hungarian gay rights movement over the past 50 years is explained through interviews and archival footage. Once a relatively accepting country, Hungary was called “the gayest barracks” in the Communist Eastern Bloc.

But the conservative Fidesz Party, which controls two-thirds of the parliamentary seats, has implemented a new Constitution that says marriage must be between a man and a woman. And the City of Budapest, controlled by the Fidesz party, has for two years tried to ban the annual Pride March, a ban overturned by the courts. Today the pioneers of the gay movement, in their 50s and older, continue to fight for their rights.

The 97-minute documentary is in Hungarian with English subtitles. It will be screened at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. Tickets are free and must be acquired online.

“Hot Men Cold Dictatorships” is one of a number of films being screened as part of South East European Film Festival, a Los Angeles-based organizations dedicated to educating about and promoting the cultural diversity of South East Europe. SEEfest organizes conferences and retrospectives, serves as the cultural hub and resource for scholars and filmmakers, and creates opportunities for cultural exchange between Southern California and South East Europe. The festival opens on Thursday with a party and a screening of “Our Everyday Life,” Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Oscar submission. More information is available online.  Tickets will be available for $5 for West Hollywood residents (use discount code WEHO).

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story said the film will be screened on Thursday. It will be screened on Friday, and the story has been changed to reflect that.

About The Author:

Henry E. (Hank) Scott is publisher and editor of GayLifeLA.com and WEHOville.com. Scott has a long career as a journalist and media business executive, serving as vice president for new media/new product development at The New York Times and president of Out Publishing, former publisher of Out magazine.

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