Anti-Fascist Film 'Europa' Thought Destroyed by Nazis to Get World Premiere

Published September 30th, 2021 - 11:06 GMT
Film 'Europa'
Film 'Europa' (Twitter)
Europa, a 1931 anti-fascist film thought to belong destroyed by Nazis, has been recovered.

This rediscovered and restored anti-fascist film will screen after 80 years.

A long-lost anti-fascism movie will debut at the BFI London film festival. 

The BFI announces restoration of Stefan and Franciszka Themersons’ long-lost 1931 anti-fascist masterpiece Europa, available to new audiences.

"We are delighted to have achieved the restitution of this remarkable work of art, lost for so long and believed to have been destroyed by the Nazis, but now available for audiences across the world to appreciate," said Anne Webber, co-chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe. 

Created in 1931–1932, it was based on the 1929 poem “Europa” by Anatol Stern – one of the key works of the interwar literary avant-garde. 

The film was lost during the war and Stefan Themerson himself was fairly certain that it no longer existed.  However, a copy of the film was discovered recently in the Bundesarchiv, one of Germany's national archives.

Fully restored in 2K, Europa will receive its world premiere at the 65th BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday 6 October at BFI Southbank. 

The Themersons were Polish artists who met in Warsaw in 1930 and began a lifelong collaboration as writers, illustrators, publishers, and avant-garde filmmakers. 

Europa utilizes an incredible array of avant-garde film techniques; photograms, collages, and repetitions to translate words into a montage of images and ideas that articulate the horror, inequality, and moral decline that the artists witnessed from Poland, with Europe at the edge of a precipice.

It was among the greatest achievements of European avant-garde film of the time.

The 65th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 6 October to Sunday 17 October, 2021.

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