Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Esperanto and Cinema. Part One

Author: David Poulson
Published on: July 9, 1999

My previous five topic articles have led me back in time to the 1930's and, for reasons which, I hope, will become clear, that turn of events has lead me to think about the year 1939 and two subjects which might, at first sight, seem to be utterly unrelated. The two subjects are Cinema, and World War II.

But to begin at the beginning

There is not very much of an opportunity to talk about the connection between the film industry and the Esperanto movement, but, if we go back far enough and if we look hard enough, there is still enough material to provide the substance of several Topic articles. Moreover, in digging out what nuggets of information there are, I hope that you during this modest investigation I will be able to point you in the direction of some related Web pages of considerable interest to movie lovers and Esperantists alike.

The first time when something connected with Esperanto was recorded on film was back in 1911. In that year the seventh international Esperanto conference, (let's agree to call this regular event in the Esperanto world by its proper name of "Universala Kongreso", or "UK" for short), took place in the pleasant Belgian city of Antwerp.

Selected events from that conference were filmed as newsreel footage by the indefatigable reporters of the organization founded by a grand old man of French cinema, Charles Pathe, (1863-1957), just as they seemed to have filmed every other newsworthy event in between 1896 and 1970.

Well, to be honest I'm not sure whether or not they actually started filming the news in 1896 but the British Pathe News Archives at Pinewood Studios is said to contain 50 million feet of Pathe film of one sort or another shot between those two dates. (According to Webster's Dictionary of Biography, , Charles Pathe inaugurated the newsreel in France 1909 and in the USA in 1910).

A new trivia game, stored on a double-CD-ROM set, has been created from this historical treasure-house of information. It comprises 3,000 questions and uses 500 film clips, and if you want to find out more about it, you can get the details here.

Immediately after that UK, Zamenhof is supposed to have gone to Paris to meet another great French pioneer of the silver screen, Leon Ernest Gaumont. In 1901, Gaumont had developed a method of synchronizing a motion-picture projector with a phonograph and in 1912 he introduced a process of motion-picture photography in colour, involving a three-colour separation method and the use of special lenses and projectors. Apparently he wanted to make a film about the development of Esperanto (then in its 24th year) but if such a film was ever started or made, the catastrophe of the First World War which engulfed Europe between 1914 and 1918 ensured that the project was never completed. For an Internet History of World War 1, connect to: http://www.worldwar1.com/

Sadly, the only Esperanto event filmed during those five years of carnage was the funeral of Zamenhof himself in 1917. The newsreel was shown in Warsaw cinemas.

After that there is a long gap (in my knowledge, at least) and I cannot find anything else to do with Esperanto and Cinema until Jan Fethke began to really make his presence felt in 1931. But I have so much to say about Jan Fethke, better known to Esperantists as Jean Forge, that I will have to devote an entire Topic article to him.

Join me in two weeks to learn more about this very talented author and film-maker!

(Acknowledgement. Some of the information contained in this and in some subsequent Topic articles has been derived from an essay called Filmo en la Historio de Esperanto written by Arpad Abonyi-Nagy. It was published in the May 1982 issue of the journal Monato. More recent issues of this journal can be consulted )

(HOME)

PRI TUTKOMUNA LINGVO
PRI RUSA LINGVO
PRI ANGLA LINGVO
PRI ALIAJ NACIAJ LINGVOJ
BATALO DE LINGVOJ
ARTIKOLOJ PRI ESPERANTO
"" PRI "KONKURENTOJ" DE ESPERANTO
LECIONOJ DE ESPERANTO
.KONSULTOJ DE E-INSTRUISTOJ
ESPERANTOLOGIO KAJ INTERLINGVISTIKO
TRADUKO DE MALSIMPLAJ FRAZOJ
TRADUKOJ DE DIVERSAJ VERKOJ
FRAZEOLOGIO DE ESPERANTO
, . VERKOJ DE ZAMENHOF KAJ PRI LI
, PROKSIMAJ MOVADOJ
ELSTARAJ PERSONOJ KAJ ESPERANTO
PRI ELSTARAJ ESPERANTISTOJ
. EL HISTORIO DE RUSIA E-MOVADO
KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
ESPERANTO EN LITERATURO
. KIAL E-MOVADO NE PROGRESAS
HUMURO PRI KAJ EN ESPERANTO
- ESPERANTO POR INFANOJ
DIVERSAJHOJ
INTERESAJHOJ
PERSONAJHOJ
/ DEMANDARO / RESPONDARO
UTILAJ LIGILOJ
IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
PAGHOJ TUTE EN ESPERANTO
NIA BIBLIOTEKO


All rights reserved. With any use of materials, a link to the site miresperanto.com is required!