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Against the Storm: Herbert Kline in a Darkened Europe (Crisis: A Film of "The Nazi Way" & Lights Out in Europe)

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Genres: Documentary
Director: Herbert Kline
Plot Sypnosis:

Flicker Alley is proud to present a pair of new restorations of decisive and timely documentaries by filmmaker Herbert Kline from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art. Crisis: A Film of “The Nazi Way” and Lights Out in Europe, both previously unavailable, now beautifully restored by MoMA, will be available in a brand-new Blu-ray Disc edition, with generous underwriting and funding from Sunrise Foundation for Education and the Arts. The National Center for Jewish Film served as fiscal sponsor.

Herbert Kline made his breakthrough documentary Crisis: A Film of “The Nazi Way” as the storm clouds of impending war gathered over Europe in 1938. Narrated by illustrious American stage, film, and television actor, Leif Erickson, the film, which captures with evocative camerawork and ominous clarity the lead-up to the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, was shot at great personal risk to Kline and his crew members. Kline, a Jew born in Chicago and raised in Iowa, was in his late 20s when he began filming in the Sudeten region bordering Germany, and took on the hair-raising task of not only passing as a Nazi sympathizer in order to complete the project, but also smuggling the footage out of the Prague airport past Gestapo guards. The result is one of the first anti-Hitler documentaries ever made, and a fascinating historical and cinematic document.

In 1940, one year after filming the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Hitler’s forces, Herbert Kline and his team traveled to Warsaw and England to pursue and document the feared Nazi invasion of Poland. Narrated by Academy Award winning actor, Frederic March, the surviving recordings of these life threatening events would serve as evidence of the outbreak of the Second World War, bringing about one of the first completed and distributed documentaries on one of the most destructive international conflicts in history; Lights Out in Europe.

Bonus Materials Include:

  • Audio Commentary for Crisis: A Film of “The Nazi Way” - by cultural historian Thomas Doherty
  • Audio Commentary for Lights Out in Europe - by film historian Maria Elena de las Carreras
  • Peace! The Four Power Conference (1938) - A Pathé Gazette newsreel profiling the delegates at the Four-Power conference in Munich, and Neville Chamberlain's return with Hitler's signature and hope of peace
  • The White Eagle (1942) - Directed by Eugeniusz Cekalski, this Academy Award-nominated documentary short narrated by Leslie Howard shows the exiled Polish community in Britain, retaining their distinct political and cultural identity while continuing alongside the British military struggle against Germany
  • Image Gallery - Archival images and promotional materials from the Museum of Modern Art and Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center
  • Souvenir Booklet - A new essay detailing the films’ production and distribution by cultural historian Thomas Doherty; Conservation notes by MoMA Department of Film Curator, Dave Kehr.
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Release Details

Movie Release Year: 1939
Tech Specs & Release Details

Specs: Region Free Blu-ray
Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio(s): TBA
Audio Formats: TBA
Subtitles/Captions: English SDH