ANCIENT LAW, THE
[DAS ALTE GESETZ]
New 4K DCP with restored tinting and toning
Directed by Ewald André Dupont (PICCADILLY, VARIETE), this 1923 film is a landmark representation of German-Jewish history. Set in the 1860s, the story focuses on young Baruch (Ernst Deutsch), the son of a rabbi in an eastern shtetl, who, after becoming fascinated with the theater, leaves his home to pursue his art. In time Baruch works his way up the ranks from tent show stagehand to celebrated stage actor in Vienna, thanks to the patronage of an archduchess (Henny Porten). But Baruch still longs for home, and the approval of his stern, traditional father. The assimilation narrative and struggle between tradition and modernity strongly prefigure that of THE JAZZ SINGER, which would come along several years later. The scenes of shtetl life are vividly realized, as are the observances of Purim and Yom Kippur. DIR Ewald André Dupont; SCR Paul Reno, from memoirs by Heinrich Laube. Germany, 1923, b&w, 135 min. In German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Restored by the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen.
No AFI Member passes accepted.