Helmut Doork, a once great and famous clown, is fired from the circus. Getting drunk at a local bar, he pokes fun at Hitler in front of some Gestapo agents, who arrest and send him to a prison camp. Helmut angers his fellow prisoners by refusing to perform for them, wanting to preserve his legend. As times passes, Jews are brought into the camp, with fraternizing between them and the other prisoners strictly prohibited. Eventually, Helmut is forced by the others to perform or be beaten. His act bombs and he leaves the barracks depressed, trying the routine out again alone in the prison yard. He hears laughter and sees a group of Jewish children watching him through a fence. Happy to be appreciated again, he makes a makeshift clown suit and begins to regularly perform. His audience grows, but a new prison Commandant orders Helmut to stop. When he refuses and continues to perform, he's beaten and thrown in solitary confinement. But the Nazis soon come up with a use for Helmut, keeping ...
Jonathan D. H. Parshall <email@example.com>
Did You Know?
One of the most talked-about, yet little-seen, films in history, only a select few have ever seen it. Among them was Harry Shearer
, who told "Spy" Magazine that it was a "perfect object" in terms of how awful and off-tone it was. Shearer drew an analogy between seeing the film and what it would be like to take a trip to Tijuana and see a black velvet art piece showing the Auschwitz concentration camp, saying "it's not funny, and someone is trying to convey this serious event the exact wrong way." See more
Referenced in My Brother's Light