Our expert team of linguists and technical geniuses recently transcribed, translated and subtitled feature length black and white classical Spanish film that was recently restored by The Madrid Film Archive.
This work was commissioned by Katherine Goode, the film producer’s grandchild and author of 14 books. Katherine shared the incredible story about the making of this film, which is the subject of her latest writing project. During this traumatic period of history, more than 1500 German and Austrian Jewish experts in film technology were able to find protection in Spain, France, England and America, because their specialised cinematographic soundtrack knowledge was in great demand throughout the Western world which was only making its first steps in film with sound.
Read the full story here:
Many German and Austrian Jews played a prominent role in the early German film industry including director Billy Wilder, actors Eric Von Stroheim and Elizabeth Bergner and producer David Oliver. He founded Oliver Films in 1915 and made over 60 films annually. In November 1917, David Oliver became a founding member of the German Board of UFA Film combine.
But when Hitler came to power in 1933, German Jewish citizens lost almost all their basic rights. UFA fired 100% of all its Jewish employees. David Oliver sensed the time had come to leave Germany. He visited Spain and set up a film company there called Iberica Films. He then invited his cousin, Kurt Flatau to become his partner. Several German Jewish exiles, who were well known filmmakers, emigrated to Spain and joined the film company. From 1933-1936, the company made four films, ” Dona Francisquita”, ” Aventura Oriental,” “Poderoso Caballero” and “Una Femana Felicidad.”
The films featured Spanish actors, but almost all of the crew members were German Jewish exiles, including Hans Behrendt, the director, Max Winterfeld, the film composer, Enrique Guerner, the cinematographer, Hans Jacoby, the screen writer, and Herbert Phillips, the art director.
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War erupted and the German Jews were driven into exile again. Some managed to survive and emigrated to France, England and America. But others weren’t so lucky. Hans Behrendt was captured by the Gestapo and sent to Auschwitz. David Oliver and his family managed to migrate to England and Kurt Flatau and his family went to France and then emigrated to the United States in 1941.