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Les Démons de William Friedkin - front cover

I once had a beautiful homeland

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I once had a beautiful homeland
by Lotte H. Eisner

Release Date : January 30, 2023
Publisher : Marest Publisher
Language : French
Number of pages : 440 pages

Lotte Eisner's Memoirs take us back to pre-war Germany, through the daily life of a family of the Jewish upper class. First female film critic Film-Kurier , Lotte Eisner witnesses the richness of Berlin's cultural life (Bertolt Brecht, Max Reinhardt, Valeska Gert, Fritz Lang, Pabst…). She fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and first found refuge in France where she met Henri Langlois and Georges Franju. Interned in 1940 by the French government in the Gurs camp, she escaped. During the Occupation, Langlois hid her in a castle where she archived reels saved in extremis from the hands of the enemy. Having become, after the war, the number two of the French Cinémathèque, it travels the globe in search of cinema treasures (films, sets, accessories, etc.) and constitutes, with the Cinema Museum, one of the most beautiful collections in the world.

These memories were collected by Martje Grohmann, ex-wife of Werner Herzog, and are prefaced by the filmmaker who, in Le Chemin des Glaces , told the story of his long march for the survival of La Eisnerin. A painting of a tormented era, this work also recounts the constitution of a global memory of cinema. The main actors of the 7th art are invited there, Lang and Langlois of course, but also Murnau, Louise Brooks, John Ford, François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock, André Breton, Marlene Dietrich, Erich von Stroheim or even Eisenstein.

Translation by Marie Bouquet.

Book published with the support of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah, the Goethe-Institut and the Center National du Livre.