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Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Lea, Damen Pola Negri, is a Jewish girl who wants to go to St. Petersburg to help her ailing foster father. She's learning to be a wise and independent girl (those kind of characters that Damen Negri was so fond of during her career) but she is warned by her teacher that because she is Jewish she will not be given the usual work/travel permits, if she wants to travel she will have to be given a special paper, a yellow ticket. These permits are usually given to a certain kind of woman and even longhaired people as you are know pretty well what this German count means even though he is speaking in German
When Lea is rejected by the University she knows that finally she will have to swallow her pride and ask for a yellow ticket even though it's a free pass to decadence.
In a book given to her by her teacher, Lea finds papers belonging to his deceased sister; she decides to use the papers to impersonate the dead woman and accomplish her greatest desire, to study at the University. Lea finds herself at the center of various events and has to deal with her false identity, her true identity, and an identity crisis These will be solved in a thrilling and emotional way at the end of the film.
"Der Gelbe Schein" was directed by two hands: Herr Eugen Illés ( who also photographed the film ) and Herr Victor Janson ( who also plays Lea's teacher ) and for this German count it was a revelation as he knew little of these fellow countrymen until this time. It was a pleasant surprise to see such skill in a film from this year; excellent rhythm and film structure narrative (flashbacks, close-ups and some camera movements ) and as always Damen Negri was very much the star.
The film was made in 1918 with the German army still occupying Warsaw (which stands in for St. Petersburg in the film) and some film scenes were taken in the Warsaw ghetto. The film was restored by the longhaired Herr Kevin Brownlow, one of the most important names when the aristocracy are talking about silent films.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must discover who finally he is.
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