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OBJECT OF THE MONTH


Clapperboard

• acquired by the Museum from a private collector in 1997ss
• part of the Museum's Judaica sub-collection
• presently kept in the Museum's depository






This clapperboard was most probably used during the filming of Daleká cesta (The Long Journey / The Distant Journey), the 1949 movie debut of Alfréd Radok, one of the most important Czech theatre and film directors of the latter half of the 20th century. This was the first post-war Czech film to deal with the topic of the Holocaust. The use of 'artistic reportage' in the film effectively conveys the story of Prague Jews who are summoned for deportation to the Terezín ghetto where they experience hell. The film combines three narrative layers: firstly a series of shots from pre-war and wartime documentaries, secondly a melodramatic story about a mixed marriage between a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man, and thirdly a group of expressive metaphorical scenes which add existential depth to an experience that can never be erased from the memory of mankind. Although one of the best works of post-war Czech cinematography, the film was beset with problems from the very outset – it was hard getting approval for the script and the film was criticized upon completion, taken out of distribution after its premiere and officially banned after Radok's emigration in August 1968.

The topic of filming in the Terezín ghetto is covered in the exhibition Truth and Lies: Filming in the Ghetto Terezín, 1942–1945 [lze proklik?], which is on view at the Robert Guttmann Gallery until 30 March 2014 (extended due to great public interest). The Jewish Museum in Prague and the National Film Archive have prepared an interesting programme of events to accompany the exhibition.





The exhibition features recently identified fragments of film footage from 1942 that have never been shown in public before – depicting, among other things, the clapperboard used in the 1942 film Ghetto Theresienstadt.

Inv. No. JMP 177.215
wood and plywood
height: 260 mm, width: 387 mm
German inscription: Deutsche Wochenschau - der Führer schenkte eine Stadt den Juden (The German Weekly Review – The Führer Gives the Jews a City)




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