Manuela Padoan (Newsreel), Mariann Lewinsky and Karl Wratschko (Die Gezeichneten)
Maud Nelissen, harp accompaniment by Eduardo Raon
The 1920s were a golden age of cinema, but not of the world. In 1922 civil war was raging in Ireland, while the Greek-Turkish conflict and 3,000 years of Greek settlements in Asia Minor ended in the Great Fire of Smyrna – and rightwing fascism started its rise to power in Europe. The Éclair Journal no. 26 contains a few beautiful shots of Walther Rathenau, the eminent German statesman, industrialist and writer who was murdered by members of the secret ultra-right Organisation Consul, on 24 June 1922. Their plan to provoke a civil war and to establish an authoritarian regime failed; their crime had the effect of strengthening the Weimar democracy, for the time being. In Italy however, the fascists succeeded; in October 1922, Vittorio Emanuele III appointed Mussolini prime minister. The footage of the March on Rome comes from Gaumont Pathé Archives, and like much of the footage in our selection it is marked as NU, “not used”, or outtakes. The visual quality of the outtakes is excellent, and the rough editing enhances their immediacy, but there are of course no intertitles.
Dreyer based his film on a Danish novel from 1912 by then-popular realist writer Aage Madelung. The film’s two very different titles both come from the novel, which was called Elsker hverandre (Love One Another) in Denmark, but translated into German as Die Gezeichneten (The Stigmatised Ones). In making the film, Dreyer strove for maximum authenticity. With his production designer Jens Lind, he travelled to Lublin in Poland, which had a very large Jewish community; the exterior sets for the film, built in Berlin, were based on the architecture they saw there. Dreyer hired Jewish refugees from Russia as extras (there were many in Berlin at the time, some with firsthand experience of pogroms). Some of Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theatre troupe had ended up in Berlin after the Bolshevik seizure of power and the Russian civil war, and Dreyer was able to use several of these actors, whose naturalist style he greatly admired. Dreyer was a lifelong foe of anti-Semitism, but only dealt with it explicitly in this impressive and powerful film. Few, if any, films of the period portray the destructive potential of racial intolerance as clearly as this one, and the extraordinary violence of the pogrom at the end still retains its power to shock.
The film was considered lost until 1960, when an original nitrate print bearing the Russian distribution title Pogrom was identified in the archives of Gosfil’mofond by the historian Vladimir Matusevitch. A duplicate was made from this and presented to Det Danske Filminstitut, which replaced the Russian intertitles with Danish translations. This print was then circulated until the early 1980s, when a new duplicate was made from it. In 2005, thanks to the help of Bernard Eisenschitz, the original nitrate was found again at Bois d’Arcy, where it had been deposited by the Cinémathèque de Toulouse, which had received it from Gosfil’mofond. The present print has been made from a 2K scan of this original nitrate print. Using Dreyer’s screenplay and an intertitle list from the Swedish censorship archive (no German censorship records appear to exist), the Danish intertitles from the film’s world premiere in Copenhagen (two weeks ahead of the Berlin premiere) have been reconstructed, adding some 40 titles to those found in the Russian print and considerably clarifying the complex narrative. In one dialogue sequence, two shots were apparently mixed up when the Russian titles were cut in; they have been put in the correct order. One other single-shot scene has been moved to the place where the corresponding intertitles indicate it should be.
Cast and Credits
T. alt: Elsker hverandre. Sog.: dal romanzo Elsker hverandre (1912) di Aage Madelung. Scen.: Carl Theodor Dreyer. F.: Friedrich Weinmann. Scgf.: Jens G. Lind. Int.: Adele Reuter-Eichberg (signora Segal), Wladimir Gaidorow (Jacow Segal), Polina Piekowska (Hanne-Liebe), Sylvia Torff (Zipe), Hugo Döblin (Abraham), Thorleif Reiss (Sascha), Johannes Meyer (Rylowitsch), Richard Boleslawski (Fedja), J. Duwan-Torzoff (Suchowersky). Prod.: Primus Film GmbH. 35mm. L.: 2172 m. 20 f/s. Bn
LA MARCHE SUR ROME
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