Sebastiano Derek Jarman’s first feature film, which realized the later cult director (Caravaggio, The Last of England – Lost Utopias, Blue) along with the editors, Paul Humfress, based on the Christian legend of St. Sebastian. The martyr was quickly becoming one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church, was a guard under Diocletian (Roman emperor from 284 AD to 305 AD), was actually already known to be extremely tolerant of Christians. But continued unrest in the disintegrating Roman Empire Diocletian could change his mind. And here the film Jarman: Sebastiano (Leonardo Treviglio) starts falling into disgrace when he protested to the Emperor against the execution of a Christian couple, is to punish the soldier sent to a remote outpost of the empire. In the heat of the inhospitable and isolated garrison Sebastiano lives of his comrades, taking the time to distribute with erotically charged brawls, eyed with suspicion.

As the sadistic Captain Severus (Barney James) secretly in love with him and the exile to oppose the wooing of the officer, Sebastiano gets more and more into the role of victim. And when he then confesses to Christianity, had beaten his last hour: Sebastians pierced by his own comrades at the behest of Severus with arrows and died a martyr at the stake.

Although Derek Jarman’s first feature film as one of the true cult classics of erotic cinema, of the 1976 film does not yet see turned into the German cinemas. Already at the performance of Sebastiano at Locarno Film Festival, there were furious protests from the left as well as the right institutions. Despite the storm of indignation, there were also teachers and even pastors, who recommended the film to their pupils, as it provided a rare opportunity to hear exquisite Latin dialogues – the open homosexuality of the streak, they had apparently either ignored or in the name of this course purchase made.

Jarman here developed his fondness for well-researched historical material, that would make him later with films such as Caravaggio and Edward II is not only famous and infamous. Also noteworthy is the film music: For Brian Eno soundtrack could be obtained, the purpose composed his first score at all. So one can say that Sebastiano was not only the starting point of Derek Jarman’s extraordinary career, but also the career of another great artist inspired.


Title: Sebastiano Country of production: United Kingdom Year of production: 1976 Length: 85 (Min) of material: (# ) Salzgeber

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