In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by ... See full summary »
Portugal, 1739, the reign of King João V, who tries to keep a delicate balance between the power of the Church and the interests of the Court. António José da Silva, nicknamed "the Jew", a ... See full summary »
Maren, a young girl, is the sole survivor of the Black Death in her Norwegian village. Using instincts, folklore, luck, and the clairvoyant powers granted her by being born with a "Victory ... See full summary »
Julia Onsager Steen,
Liv Bernhoft Osa,
Bjørn Willberg Andersen
A story of German-born identical twins (both played by Veidt), one a loyal American and the other, a Nazi official. The American is forced to help a group of German spies, but eventually ... See full summary »
"Die Stadt ohne Juden" ("The Nation without Jews") is a weird political allegory, almost a fantasy. It has no supernatural elements, yet still feels like a fantasy due to its air of unreality. The story seems very far-fetched, and yet - in light of what actually happened to the Jews in Europe only a few years after this film was made - this far-fetched story is less extreme than the bizarre reality of the Holocaust. This film goes a long way towards making the Holocaust look dull and boring.
The film takes place in the far-future world of 1976, in the faraway city of Vientria. The good burghers of Vientria have just passed a new law, expelling all the Jews from their city. Leo Strakosch, a local Jew, is betrothed to the fair Lotte, a Gentile. Reluctantly complying with the law, Leo prepares to leave Vientria, but he confidently tells Lotte that he will return for her soon.
A few years pass. Without the contributions of its former Jewish citizens, the city of Vientria has now plunged into economic depression and artistic stagnation. (Unfortunately, this fits the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews secretly control the economy.) With the entire city in decline, the burghers are starting to consider rescinding the law and allowing the Jews to return.
One Jew has already returned to Vientria: Leo Strakosch, wearing a ridiculous black moustache which is apparently meant to disguise him as a Gentile, but which only makes him look more Jewish. Posing as a non-Jew, Strakosch now gets involved in local politics and stands for office, hoping to get elected to the city's council so that he can rescind the law against the Jews.
"Die Stadt ohne Juden" features dull acting, ponderous photography, and very little of genuine interest. A title card at the beginning of the film identifies the year as 1976, but everything looks like 1924. This film is preaching to the choir. In 1924, a few people were already aware of the growing trend of European anti-Semitism and its danger to everyone. But most adults in 1924 either didn't give a damn about European Jews, or actively supported the politicians who advocated "relocation" of unwanted Jewish citizens.
I'll give this film high marks for good intentions but very low marks for actual execution: one point out of 10.
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