David Cairns/ Paul Duane: Natan
presented in association with the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Admission ($10): Advance tickets available here.
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Why is Bernard Natan not remembered as one of the true giants of French cinema, and how has he come to be forgotten? The extraordinary documentary Natan by David Cairns and Paul Duane provides some answers to this puzzle. Natan was a Romanian Jew who fought for France in World War I and eventually headed Pathé studios. Under his leadership, Pathé made some of its greatest silent films and became financially solvent. Natan brought television to France and pioneered the use of the anamorphic lens, sound, color, home viewing and widescreen projection. Yet French anti-Semites falsely accused him of getting his start in movies as a peddler of silent-era pornography, and this eventually led to his demise. His name has been left out of France’s film history, and he eventually died forgotten in the Holocaust. Cairnes and Duane creatively combine this tragic history with a papier-mâché-headed performer playing Natan who comments on the proceedings and his fate. Sadly, some current film historians still claim that Natan was in these pornographic films, bringing the anti-Semitism of the last century back to life.-Bart Weiss
Film contains graphic sex scenes.
Northern California Premiere
Click here to view trailer.
preceded by Eden Rests (6 mins.)
In this whimsical animated short, Tel Aviv’s history comes alive through the story of the city’s first cinema, the Eden.