With co-director Paul Duane in person
Ireland. Dirs. David Cairns, Paul Duane. 2013, 66 mins. New York premiere. DCP courtesy of the filmmakers. Bernard Natan was a forgotten pioneer of French cinema who died in Auschwitz, and is known, perhaps erroneously, as an early director of silent soft-core porn movies. An immigrant who made it his ambition to create a truly French national cinema, Natan did more than anyone else to bring sound film to France. He started France’s first television company and first cinema advertising company; he experimented with widescreen photography and color; and he helped popularize the Pathé newsreel. This fascinating and lovingly crafted documentary film tries to discover why Natan was erased from history, while also raising provocative questions about the way that we learn history from documentary films. The film premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival.
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