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 but has since been nearly forgotten. 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 became an executive at Pathé, producing the seminal works Les Miserables and The Marvelous Life of Joan of Arc. Charged with dubious fraud claims, he went to prison, and eventually Auschwitz, where he died in 1942.

David Cairns is a filmmaker and critic. His 2001 short Cry for Bobo won a score of awards around the world and led to follow-up shorts Inside an Uncle (2002) and The Return of Peg Leg Pete (2004). He also worked on the BBC Scotland children’s science fiction sitcom Intergalactic Kitchen (2004). 

Paul Duane’s first feature documentary Barbaric Genius (2012) was nominated for IFTA and Grierson awards. He co-created the TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2007-11), after having directed episodes of many British TV series.


Sunday, March 2, 4:45 pm
Goethe Institut
814 Seventh Street NW at I Street
Washington, DC

Saturday, March 8, 2:00 pm
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC


“As both an entertaining rescue of a man's name from oblivion and what's hopefully just the start of the rewriting of cinema history, Natan's is a story that needs to be seen.”
-Josh Slater-Williams, The Skinny


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