Fritz Kortner’s Last Illusion Chapter uri icon

abstract

  • Directed by Josef von Baky, Der Ruf (1948) was based on a screenplay written by Fritz Kortner, a German-Jewish actor, who had always struggled with the identity designators of Germanness and Jewishness. The film, which was released in America as The Last Illusion, is driven by the psychological tension inherent in the discourse of German-Jewish coexistence. It underscores the pull between a Jewish heritage that had, before Hitler, been in danger of fading into the wash of modernity and a German process of identification that had simultaneously become stronger. The Shoah changed this discourse irrevocably. Thus, more than anything else, The Last Illusion presents a story of a man’s attempt to create an image of himself as a German and a Jew in post-Holocaust (West) Germany. As the first cinematic intervention in the new and volatile postwar German-Jewish interaction, The Last Illusion set up the terms of discussion with which subsequent German filmmaking will necessarily have to contend.

author list (cited authors)

  • Shandley, R.

editor list (cited editors)

  • Morris, L., & Zipes, J.

Book Title

  • Unlikely History

publication date

  • January 1, 2002 11:11 AM