Different From The Others is a partially missing German silent film from 1919. It is the earliest-known sympathetic portrayal of homosexuals in cinema. It was planned and partially funded by an organization whose purpose was to create "sexual freedom" for people of all orientations and non-harmful fetishes. It was made to protest a German law that made homosexual behavior a criminal offense.
The plot revolved around a closeted homosexual violinist whose job doubled as a teacher. After falling in love with one of his students, he decides to come open with him. The two hit it off romantically and all seems well, until someone creates a scandal out of it. The scandal goes public, and the violinist's career completely shatters. He commits suicide and many mourn his death and discrimination .
The film received controversial status from the general public but was praised by the homosexual community in Germany at the time. Many gays felt that it offered an effective commentary on society's stance on the subject, as many homosexual Germans were committing suicide. Many who saw the film claimed that it moved them to tears.
Being a pre-WWII-era German film portraying homosexuals in a positive light, it probably isn't a difficult guess as to what happened to this film. The Nazis got a hold of it and destroyed every single copy they could find. The film was thought completely lost until, amazingly, a copy was found in the mid-1970s. This copy, however, was only a 50 minute fragment. It is not known what the actual running time of the film was, but a majority of the plot remains intact. The entire film has yet to surface since the destruction of many copies in the 1930s. A few reconstruction efforts were made for some DVD releases. Many are happy with it having survived at all.