Prisoner of Paradise

Prisoner of Paradise

Director: Malcolm Clarke, Stuart Sender Cast: Kurt Gerron, Ian Holm



Kurt Gerron was an actor, filmmaker, and musician who rose to acclaim and stardom in Germany in the late '20s and early '30s. Gerron appeared in The Blue Angel alongside Marlene Dietrich, starred in the inaugural production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's groundbreaking The Threepenny Opera, and directed a string of successful movie musicals. Gerron, however, was also a Jew, and while he had the good sense to flee to Amsterdam after the early Nazi programs when Holland fell under Axis occupation, he was later deported back to Germany. Unable to join such colleagues as Peter Lorre and Billy Wilder in the United States, Gerron found himself using his talents acting in vile Nazi propaganda films such as Der Ewige Jude (aka The Eternal Jew), and was finally forced to direct Theresienstadt (1944, aka The Fuhrer Gives a City to the Jews), a remarkable bit of fabrication which portrayed one of the Third Reich's death camps as a safe haven for Jewish refugees. Gerron's reward for his hard work on the film was a one-way trip in a railroad car to a gas chamber. Prisoner of Paradise is a documentary which chronicles Gerron's remarkable and tragic life story, in which his desire to create and his need to work in the limelight led him to both betrayal and his doom. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Feature Documentary.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/12/2005
UPC: 0841887050142
Original Release: 2002
Rating: NR
Source: Pbs (Direct)
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:40:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kurt Gerron himself
Ian Holm Narrator

Technical Credits
Malcolm Clarke Director,Screenwriter
Stuart Sender Director,Executive Producer
Pierre-Jules Audet Sound/Sound Designer
Glenn Berman Editor
David Eberts Co-producer
Jake Eberts Executive Producer
Chris Eberts Executive Producer
Jamie Gilcig Associate Producer
Michael Hammon Cinematographer
Karl Schaefer Producer
Marion Schmidt Associate Producer
Junger Schoenhoff Sound/Sound Designer
Susan Shanks Editor
Andre Singer Executive Producer
Luc St. Pierre Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Introduction: A Shameful Life [4:07]
2. Berlin in the 20s [7:50]
3. Stardom for Gerron [3:08]
4. Gerron Does Not Take the Nazis Seriously [5:33]
5. Reluctant Exile [8:51]
6. Ignoring Hollywood's Calls [4:40]
7. Fiddling While Rome Burned [4:55]
8. Implementing the Final Solution [1:58]
9. All Jews Out [3:49]
10. Westerbork [5:02]
11. Theresienstadt: "Model" Ghetto [7:51]
12. Culture Flourishes [5:00]
13. Trying to Refute the Rumors [4:33]
14. The Red Cross Visit [3:54]
15. Depicting Life As It Really Was [3:24]
16. Gerron Directs the Propaganda Film [10:29]
17. After the Cameras Stopped Filming [7:31]
18. Credits [2:59]

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