Jehuda (Oscar Beregi Sr.) impresses the young Lea (Anny Hornik) and Lea’s devout father Esra (Albert Heine) agrees to their engagement. But before they can actually get married, Jehuda falls for Rahel (Ria Jászonyi) and not caring much for Lea, leaves her. Heartbroken Lea commits suicide. Esra confronts Jehuda and curses him, but Jehuda is unwilling to contemplate his part in the tragedy for many years.
Der Fluch didn’t really work for me. While it was interesting to get an authentic look at a Jewish settlement from a pre-World War 2 time, nothing else about the film really managed to convince me.
Dorothee d’Espard (Carmen Boni) is an emancipated woman and a lawyer working on divorce cases. If it were up to her, she’d divorce every woman from her husband. Needless to say that she doesn’t even think about getting married. Her best friend Hortense (Evi Eva) and right hand seems so share Dorothee’s views, but only pretends to hate her husband Georges (Max Hansen). When Georges’ best friend Charles (Georg Alexander) meets Dorothee, he actually finds her intriguing and so Hortense, George and Charles come up with a plan to cure her of her misandry.
Venus im Frack is so incredibly sexist and misogynistic, it basically becomes its own persiflage, also helped by the fantastic and very modern music that accompanied the screening. But I shudder to think that people actually took it seriously at some point.
Max (Max Hansen) falls in love with circus artist Suzanne (Käthe von Nagy), alienating his fiancée Daisy (Nastia Latka) and her father (Georges Melchior) by spending more and more time with the circus, a passion that probably won’t end well.
I only saw a fragment (45 min) of Der Gaukler – together with the fragment of Die Jüdin von Toledo. Unfortunately, after my immediate love for Die Jüdin von Toledo, Der Gaukler just couldn’t keep up with it.
Rahel (Thea Rosenquist) is a free spirit and doesn’t care much for rules. When she sees the beauty of the royal gardens, she goes in even though it’s forbidden and promptly stumbles on the King (Franz Höbling) and the Queen (Ida Norden). The King is enchanted by the girl’s passion, her family, all to well aware of their precarious status as Jewish people, are horrified. But after their encounter, the King can’t just let Rahel go.
They showed only a fragment (about 40 minutes) of this film at the Viennale, I’m not sure if there isn’t more of the film at all or if not everything is restored, but either way, I regret deeply not being able to see the film in its entirety because the part of it I saw was absolutely electrifying.