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Dir. David Cairns and Paul Duane (66min, Ireland, 2013)
In French and English with English Subtitles
East Coast Premiere
Bernard Natan, a Romanian Jew, changed the course of French cinema and was destroyed because of it, his name forever linked to sordid tales of pornography and fraud. It took a pair of Irish documentarians to unearth the real story: an epic tale of the birth of cinema, the horrors of war and the power of myth.
Immigrating to Paris as a young man, Barnard served in WWI, and earned French citizenship. After possibly directing “adult art films,” he becamean executive at Pathé, producing the seminal worksLes Miserablesand The Marvelous Life of Joan of Arc. Charged with dubious fraud claims, he went to prison, and eventually Auschwitz, where he died in 1942.