LUIS TRENKER, Curtis Bernhardt
Germany / 1932 / 83'
In the summer 1809, Severin Anderland, a student from Jena, returned to his homeland in Tyrol, then occupied by the French-Bavarian troops. He found that his mountain hut had been completely destroyed and that his mother and sister murdered by the invaders. Blinded by rage, he killed two patrol soldiers and escaped to the mountains, becoming a rebel. Although it was difficult for him to kill Bavarian people, the love for his homeland prevailed and his mission became to free Tyrol. Following his example, the whole region rose up against the oppressors and many Tyrolese people were ready to pay for the freedom of their beloved country with their lives. In spite of a strenuous fight, the Tyrolese were defeated and Severin made prisoner. The "rebel" was executed in the yard of the Kufstein barracks.
He was born in 1892 in Ortisei/Sankt Ulrich, Val Gardena. Trenker was brought up in a land that had become Italian after the First World War, but that had always addressed the German world and was open to cultural exchanges with the Northern alpine arc. Trenker started his cinema career as an actor in 1926, and then continued as a director. He was obliged to move in contrasting and widely dispersed settings. Politically he had to manage between Nazi Berlin and fascist Rome, his work taking him to Tirrenia (the cinema city of strongly coveted by fascism) and New York as well as Austria and Germany. Trenker, nevertheless, never loosened his deep ties with Tyrol and his home valley. Trenker’s works were famous not only in the Alpine countries (Italy, Austria, Germany, France and Switzerland), but in all of Europe, as well as Mexico, Japan, Argentina and North America.
His filmography as a director includes: Il Prigioniero della Montagna (1955), Barriera a Settentrione (1949), Monte Miracolo (1943), Il Ribelle della Montagna (1940), Lettere d'amore dall'Engadina (1938), Montagne in fiamme (1937), La grande conquista (1937), Condottieri - Giovanni dalle bande nere (1937), L'Imperatore della California (1936), Il figliol prodigo (1934), Il grande agguato (1934) and I cavalieri della montagna (1929).
This German director was born in Worms in 1899. He made his debut in 1924 and directed many films under the name of Kurt B. both in Germany and France, until the film Notte di dicembre (1939), a melodrama steeped with subtle poetry about the topics of reincarnation and the immortality of love. He moved to United States and after a few comedies worked with the greatest Hollywood stars, shooting Nebbie (1945), a noir film with Humphrey Bogart. Later he shot the dramatic film L’anima e il volto (1946) with Bette Davis, where he highlighted the artificial character of the story presenting some conventional night and foggy settings, and finally Anime in delirio (1947) with Joan Crawford. He was a great screenwriter in addition to being a director and devotee of different genres, before ending his career in 1964.