Date: 25 January 2023 (ended)
Section: BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES: THE FRINGES OF CZECH AND SLOVAK CINEMA, THE DANGER WITHOUT
Location: Teatro Miela
Piazza Luigi Amedeo Duca degli Abruzzi, 3, 34132 Trieste TS
|FESTIVAL PASS TRIESTE and/or MYMOVIES|
(Il morbo bianco / The White Disease)
Cecoslovacchia / Czechoslovakia
1937, 35mm, b-n / b-w, 105’
v.o. ceca / Czech o.v.
Sceneggiatura / Screenplay: Hugo Haas. Tratta dall’opera teatrale omonima di / Based on the play of the same title by: Karel Čapek. Fotografia / Photography: Otto Heller. Montaggio / Editing: Antonín Zelenka. Musica / Music: Jan Branberger. Suono / Sound: Vilém Taraba. Scenografia / Art Directors: Štěpán Kopecký, Arnold Reimann. Costumi / Costume Designers: Štěpán Dušánek, Marie Holanová. Interpreti / Cast: Hugo Haas, Zdeněk Štěpánek, Karla Oličová, Bedřich Karen, Václav Vydra, Ladislav Boháč, Jaroslav Průcha, Karel Dostal. Produzione / Produced by: Moldavia.
This top work of art by actor and director Hugo Haas is a film adaptation of an allegorical play by Karel Čapek, which he had mastered as a then 36-year-old artist already on the theatre stage. As a screenwriter and director, Haas fulfilled a humanistic concept that in 1937 strongly resonated in a Europe engulfed by Nazi aggression. In the allegorical narrative, Haas plays the accomplished physician Galén, who discovers a cure for a disease known as “the white sickness”. But he refuses to reveal the cure to the malicious Marshal, who is waging a war of conquest on a neighbouring country… Unlike Čapek’s novel, the film adaptation has a happy ending, connected to the figure of an ally of Galén’s country – Dr. Martin. Moreover, Haas’s contemporary finale further emphasises the moral responsibility and redemptive role of intellectuals during dramatic, historic times.
A celebrated actor, director, producer and screenwriter, Hugo Haas was born in 1901 in Brno, now Czech Republic. A member of the company of the Prague National Theatre from 1930 to 1939, he was fired because of his Jewish origins. He emigrated to the United States, where he worked as a character actor and subsequently as a director of commercially successful B-movies. Back in Europe in the late 1950s, he died in Vienna in 1968.
filmografia scelta / selected filmography
1936 Velbloud uchem jehly co-diretto con / co-directed with Otakar Vávra 1937 Bílá nemoc (The White Desease / Il morbo bianco); Děvčata nedejte se! (Girls, Stand Fast!) 1938 Svět kde se žebrá (The World Where One Goes Begging) 1951 The Girl on the Bridge 1952 Strange Fascination (Strano Fascino) 1954 The Other Woman 1959 Born to Be Loved 1962 Paradise Alley