The Tiger of Eschnapur
(Der Tiger von Eschnapur)

Screening on Film
Directed by Fritz Lang.
With Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walter Reyer.
West Germany/France/Italy, 1959, 35mm, color, 97 min.
German with English subtitles.

Nearly forty years after Lang and Thea von Harbou wrote the script for Das indische Grabmal, a West German producer offered Lang the opportunity to finally direct his Indian epic, in two parts. Returning to his homeland after years of exile, Lang described a kind of full circle with his earliest silent epics by constructing a spectacular, glittering fantasia steeped in comic book action, soap opera melodrama and an ornate Technicolor luster. Lang’s India is unabashedly an Occidental exotic dream world of temples, tigers, jewels and magic where one man’s passions can be expressed on a grand, ornamental scale and affect an entire cosmos. In Part One, the Maharajah’s desire for Seetha, a beautiful dancer is blocked by Seetha's love for a Canadian architect, unleashing an array of furies, both primal and otherworldly. Just as Westerners blatantly fill all of the Indian roles, their skeptical, scientific mindset also encroaches upon the painted, mystical fairy tale world. In order to reconcile this rupture, the forbidden lovers must escape the prince’s outmoded, luxurious palace of desire and control.

Part of program

Read more

The Complete Fritz Lang

Current and upcoming programs

Read more

Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.