News from the Locarno Festival

Der Tiger von Eschnapur



Since his first masterpieces in the early ‘20s Fritz Lang worked inside the genre in order to express his nihilism, a pessimistic view about life and human relationships. With Der Tiger von Eschnapur – one of his last works, released in 1959 – the great German director confirms that in the filmic universe he creates it’s impossible to escape the cruelty of people and fate. The only way of expression left to his characters is the effort, which in this case ends in a painful, amazing last sequence.

Inside this iron cage which we call life the author still includes the warmth of sensuality and passion. The perfect example in this movie is a terrific dancing scene performed by the main actress, Debra Paget. Based on the novel by Thea von Harbou, Der Tiger von Eschnapur was originally planned by Lang as the first chapter of a two-parts project, together with Das indische Grabmal. Realized in Germany after Lang came back from his forced exile in U.S. since 1933, the movie mixes adventure, romance and the director’s usual throbbing eroticism. Behind the craft, behind the surface on entertainment and aesthetic there’s always something genuinely disturbing, and Der Tiger von Eschnapur is no exception.

Adriano Ercolani

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