Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 15:00


Konrad Wolf


Sunday 30/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Francisco de Goya Lucientes (1746- 1828) was court painter to Charles IV of Spain. His art brought him prestige and prosperity; his faith in state and church seemed unshakable. He enjoyed life at court and was attracted to the Duchess Alba, whom he also detested for her aristocratic and stuck-up manner. Goya was a man of the people and increasingly torn between loyalty to the king and attachment to the Spanish people, until the horrors of the Inquisition finally put him on the “bad path of knowledge”. Goya illustrates the artist’s relationship to politics and power and refers to the fight against state oppression. Undoubtedly, this film uses the guise of a historical parable to explore Wolf ’s own relationship to and understanding of his art, towards understanding the value of aesthetic work in relation to non-artistic concerns, thus rejecting all attempts to apply a ‘neutral’, timeless concept of art without political significance or function. More clearly than in Wolf ’s other films, the conviction resonates that art without political responsibility for changing the world is not art. The plans for a film of Lion Feuchtwanger’s novel of the same name go back to the early 1960s. However, political, legal, financial and logistical hurdles prevented an earlier adaptation. This largescale project was shot in co-production with Lenfilm on 70mm over a period of 11 months with actors from eight nations and truckloads of costumes and props. The film locations included Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the Crimea and the Caucasus; shooting at the original Spanish locations was not possible due to the Franco dictatorship. The Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis was hired to play the lead. He would achieve international fame in 1972 in the role of Kris Kelvin in Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Around 80 paintings by Goya were reproduced for the film in their original size by Alfred Born, head of the DEFA painters’ workshop. This makes Goya one of the most elaborate DEFA productions of all time.

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1951) di Lion Feuchtwanger. Scen.: Konrad Wolf, Angel Wagenstein. F.: Werner Bergmann, Konstantin Ryšov. M.: Aleksandra Borovskaja. Scgf.: Alfred Hirschmeier, Valerij Jurkevic. Mus.: Kara Karajev, Faradj Karajev, Paco Ibanez (Lieder der Rosario). Int.: Donatas Banionis (Francisco Goya), Olivera Vuco (duchessa d’Alba), Fred Düren (Esteve), Tatjana Lolowa (Regina Maria Luisa), Rolf Hoppe (Carlo IV), Mieczysław Voit (grande inquisitore), Ernst Busch (Jovellanos), Gustaw Holoubek (Bermudez), Wolfgang Kieling (Godoy). Prod.: DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme, Lenfilm. 35mm.