The White Disease (Still Cropped Hero).jpg

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

The White Disease

Bílá nemoc

Hugo Haas | Czechoslovakia & Germany |
Film

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.

Hugo Haas' greatest and most enduring work as director.

Karel Čapek's play The White Disease premiered at the National Theatre in Prague in 1937; that same year Hugo Haas adapted it for the screen using the same cast in the main roles. This included himself as Dr. Galén, a humble physician who has developed a cure for a plague affecting the globe but who refuses to treat the wealthy – or to hand it over to those attached to his nation’s military-industrial complex…

The White Disease (aka Skeleton on Horseback) now carries a doubly uncanny prescience – its leprous pandemic speaks eerily to the current moment, while the political backdrop to the fictional disease’s emergence is highly resonant of a Europe about to succumb to fascism’s warmongering thrall at the time of the film’s production.

Haas, a Jew, fled Czechoslovakia promptly after the 1939 German occupation of Prague for the United States, where he embarked upon a second career on both sides of the camera. The independently produced B-movies he made there have some notable champions (see the related materials below), but The White Disease is surely his greatest and most enduring work as director.

– Cerise Howard

Format: Digital
Language: Czech with English subtitles
Duration: 104 min

When

Wednesday 16 September 2020

8.20pm

See below for additional related events

Duration

104 mins

How to watch

This film is available to stream via the Česká filmová klasika YouTube page.

Accompanying works in this program

There are no upcoming related events at this time.