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Little Veronika (Innocence)

Die kleine Veronika (Unschuld)

A visually sumptuous film of a young girl’s journey to Vienna and her encounter with the city’s seamier side.

Credits

Dir Robert Land
Prod George C Horsetzky
Scr Felix Salten
With Käthe von Nagy, Maly Delschaft, Karl Forest
Austria-Germany
1930
70min
35mm
Prod Co Pan-Film

Austria’s ‘most beautiful silent film’, according to Nikolaus Wostry, curator of the Austrian Film Archive, Robert Land’s Little Veronika is a real rediscovery. Based on a novel by Felix Salten, who specialised in tales of Vienna’s brothel culture (as well as, bizarrely, being the author of both Bambi and a classic work of pornography), the film follows young Veronika from her Tyrolean village to her aunt’s Viennese apartment for her confirmation. The aunt’s flighty nature and her profession as a prostitute leave her niece in the company of men who assume she is just another new girl on offer. Land’s film is an elegant piece of filmmaking – the train journeys that bookend Veronika’s trip to the city are masterly – but apart from the natural performance of the lovely Käthe von Nagy, what lingers are the stunning views of a disappeared Vienna.

Bryony Dixon

Additional information

Restored in 2016 by Filmarchiv Austria at Synchro Film, Wien from a 35mm nitrate print.

With live musical accompaniment by Costas Fotopoulos on 9 Oct and by John Sweeney on 10 Oct.

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