White Paradise (1924) ****

April 23rd, 2019
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Karel Lamač | Script: Karel Lamač/Martin Fric | Cast: Karel Lamač, Vladimir Majer, Anny Ondra, Josef Rovensky | Drama | Czechokoslovakia 70′ | Silent

The UK premiere of this restored box office hit from 1924 stars Anny Ondra and Karel Lamač in the role of naïve orphan Nina and escaped convict Ivan. It is screened with live musical accompaniment by Tomáš Vtípil.

In the depths of a snowbound Bohemian forest, orphan Nina serves passing travellers in a small coaching inn. One of them is Ivan (Karel Lamač), who has escaped from prison for a crime he didn’t commit and is now desperate to bring medicine to his dying mother. Nina falls for his good looks and kind heart and decides to help him, offering sanctuary in the cellar.

This social melodrama benefits from an ingeniously written script and the involvement of Der starke Vierer (The Strong Four) – one of the most distinctive creative teams to come out of early Czechoslovak cinema: director and actor Karel Lamač, cameraman Otto Heller, actress Anny Ondra and screenwriter Václav Wasserman – contributed to the international success of the film and opened the doors for Lamač and Ondra.

Presented in partnership with Barbican and in collaboration with the Czech National Film Archive. | 28th April 2019, at 3pm | Barbican Cinema 1, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

 

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