Film Sumurun

Sumurun © Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek Sumurun © Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek

Thu, 03/08/2018

Goethe-Institut Washington

1990 K Street NW, Suite 03
(Entrance on 20th Street NW, lower level)
Washington, DC 20006

Early UFA Film Posters: Projecting Women

Germany, 1920, Silent Film, 103 min., Director: Ernst Lubitsch, Cast: Pola Negri, Jenny Hasselqvist, Paul Wegener

After the film, please join us for an opening reception for the exhibition Early UFA Film Posters: Projecting Women in the gallery space.

A story of romantic connections in an oriental setting. A traveling troupe of performers arrives in a fictional Arabian city. Amongst the performers is the dancer Janaia, whom a slave trader hopes to sell to the Sheik as an addition to his harem. However, the hunchback clown from the troupe has feelings for Janaia and doesn’t want her to leave. Meanwhile, the Sheik’s favorite consort, Sumurun falls in love with a clothing merchant. In order to be together, Sumurun takes risks that could be putting more than just her own life on the line.

The director and actor Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947, Berlin) worked for the newly-founded Universum Film AG (UFA) beginning in 1917. His film Sumurun appeared in German cinemas in 1920. Pola Negri, who would go on to become a major Hollywood star, was cast in a main role in the movie, as was common in Lubitsch films, such as in Carmen (1918) and Madame Dubarry (1918). In Sumurun, Lubitsch also makes is final acting appearance, playing Yeggar the hunchback clown. In 1923, Lubitsch emigrated to the United States to continue his career in Hollywood as a director and producer for Warner Brothers and Paramount. While in the US, he became well known for his work on comedies, musicals, and political satires, receiving an honorary Academy Award in 1946 for his contributions to cinema.

This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Early UFA Film Posters: Projecting Women.