Nathan The Wise (Nathan der Weise)

Sunday, September 11
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2hr 08mins // directed by:Manfred Noa

A unique special screening for the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, featuring a newly–composed original score by Boston-based composer Aaron Trant, performed live by the acclaimed After Quartet.

Based on the acclaimed 18th century play by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Nathan the Wise is a remarkably timeless tale about religious conflict and the powerful aspiration for peace and reconciliation. The story is set in Jerusalem during the Crusades, a period of perpetual conflict between the Christians, Jews and Muslims. Long considered lost, the 1922 classic film was rediscovered in 1996 in a Moscow film vault and restored in 2006. Since then it has had only rare US screenings.

Hailed as a “film for humanity” Nathan the Wise is political cinema par excellence, with a simple message that is as timely in 1922 as it is today, when globally escalating conflicts are becoming more aggressive.  An appeal to peaceful co-existence between the three religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the film promotes a more tolerant world in which we respect each other, communicate better and all contribute to a diverse global society. Starring Werner Krauss (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) as Nathan.    

About the Composer    

Aaron Trant is an active musician in the Boston area and beyond. Cited for his “melodic, if unpitched, voice” (Spendzine), Aaron’s eclectic knowledge of classical, jazz, rock, contemporary and improvised music has made him an asset to many ensembles throughout the United States. Aaron has received great acclaim for his original score and solo percussion performance of the Chris Marker film, La Jetée and is the cofounder, performer and composer for the After Quartet.

The After Quartet performs live music to films in the tradition of the Silent Film Era's orchestras and organists. The group formed in 1993 and originally focused on improvised music. In 1998, however, the University of Oregon Cultural Forum commissioned Brian McWhorter to compose a score to Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The success of this venture thrust the After Quartet into its current mode of being one of the few groups dedicated to the art of live musical accompaniment of silent film.

Part of the ticket proceeds will be donated to the restoration of German Silent Films to be screened as part of the upcoming program The Jewish Experience in the German Film of the 1920s organized by the Goethe Institut Boston and the National Center for Jewish Film.

Shown in co-operation with the American Islam Congress (AIC), The Center for German and European Studies, the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and the Department of Near East and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. This screening is supported by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts.