Our next Monday Film Show is a ground-breaking historical epic and silent film from legendary director Ernst Lubitsch  

ANNA BOLEYN (Anne Boleyn – Deception)
(1905,  120 min., dir. Ernst Lubitsch, starring Emil Jannings and Henny Porten, English inter-titles)

TIME:  17h00
VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing, German Programme, Media Room F251 

About the film:
“Anna Boleyn” is the tragic real-life story of Henry VIII’s second wife who was persuaded into marriage after King Henry managed to annul his first marriage by making himself head of the church in England, then summarily dumped in favour of another woman when Anna gave birth to a girl instead of a male heir. Both leading roles convey characters and emotions, so that “Anna Boleyn” is more than just a dry account of history. Renowned German actor, Emil Jannings, is just perfect is his role of the lecherous King Henry VIII, and lesser known actress Henny Porten surely has the audience on her side throughout the film as the innocent but brave Anna Boleyn.

Unlike the bulk of German silent films known today, Lubitsch’s films stand out as very different, and in particular his comedies have a unique style of their own. The director’s keen visual sense and his attention to detail are perhaps nowhere more evident than in this film.  Every shot is composed with the eye of a consummate artist.  The camera is used not just to tell the story but to convey the interior mood of the protagonists, a technique that underpinned German expressionist filmmaking and one that would form the basis for subsequent cinema, notably film noir.  The subtly stylised sets and some daring iris effects create a sense of mounting oppression, conveying the impression that Anne’s world is fast closing in on her, and we see her not as an autonomous entity but rather as a mere pawn in a mechanical game of court politics. This film shows that Lubitsch was able to match his contemporaries worldwide in this genre of costume or historic dramas, while also finding success with a range of comedies, both in his native Germany and later in the US.


For further details please contact: 

Dr Marion Pape
German Studies
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Arts
Email: papem@ukzn.ac.za
Tel: 0027-31-260 1086 / 2380

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