JAKOB THE LIAR
- JAKOB THE LIAR
- (JAKOB DER LÜGNER)
- 1974, Frank Beyer, East Germany, 101 min.
- With Vlastimil Brodsky, Manuela Simon
“The beauty of this film is its simplicity...a heartrending, brutally funny and ultimately devastating story."
—Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
JAKOB THE LIAR is the best known East German film in the West—for being the only East German film nominated for an Academy Award, and for being remade (poorly) as a Robin Williams vehicle in 1999. Adapted by Holocaust survivor Jurek Becker from his own novel, it tells of a barber in a Polish ghetto who uses fictitious radio reports to keep up hope among his neighbors as the shadow of deportation grows nearer. The restrained poignancy and gentle humor of this film stand as a rebuke to the more heavy-handed approaches of both the Hollywood remake and Roberto Benigni’s similarly themed LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Winner of the Silver Bear (Best Actor) at the 1975 Berlin Film Festival. In German with English subtitles. 35mm. (MR)