Euroregion Elbe/Labe

»Bílá nemoc« (The white disease) at Czech Film Wednesday

03.04.2024 • 20:00 • Zentralkino Dresden

Anti-totalitarian drama with Corona motifs based on a play by Karel Čapek

»Bílá nemoc« (The white disease)
»Bílá nemoc« (The White Disease) (© Národní filmový archive)

A mysterious and incurable disease rages in a totalitarian state where a ruthless and strict marshal rules and threatens neighboring states with military attack. The disease has also appeared elsewhere in the world and is threatening to become a pandemic. The first symptom is a cold and numb white spot, hence the popular name “white disease”. Infected people are herded into internment camps.

In the state clinic, the marshal's favorite, Hofrat Sigelius, fights against this disease, but unsuccessfully because his scientific reputation is more of a facade. The marshal is supported by the arms magnate Baron Krog, and the propaganda minister is constantly preparing the population for war. Young people in particular, who are searching in vain for work, fanatically support the marshal and believe that a victorious war is the only way out of the gloomy situation.

Dr. Galén, a slum doctor, has found a cure, but he doesn't want to give the formula to any government until it gives up weapons and commits to lasting world peace. He covers poor people in the suburbs and rich people seeking peace. He refuses to treat the infected Krog unless the conditions are met. The marshal rejects this. Instead, he starts war against the neighboring country. The crowds cheer, but things turn out differently than you might expect...


This film will be shown as part of the "Czech Film Wednesday" series, as always in the original version with German subtitles. If you would like to be reminded of Film Wednesday in good time and would also like to receive further information about Czech culture in the Elbe/Labe Euroregion, you can sign up for our culture newsletter .

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

Czechoslovakia, 1937, 106 min
Director: Hugo Haas
Screenplay: Hugo Haas, Karel Čapek (divadelní hra)
Playing it: Hugo Haas, Zdeněk Štěpánek, Karla Oličová, Bedřich Karen, Václav Vydra st., Ladislav Boháč, Jaroslav Průcha, Karel Dostal, Rudolf Deyl st., František Smolík

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

For the first time at Czech Film Wednesday we are going back to the 1930s. These early years of sound films in Czechoslovakia were very much influenced by comedies, which were and still are very popular, but which have a relatively shallow sense of humor. That's why it's not that easy for us to choose suitable films from this decade.


Hugo Haas wrote the script for "Bílá nemoc" based on a template by the famous Karel Čapek, directed it and played the main role of Dr. Galén played. He was actually originally an actor (from 1925) and had success in various roles in the above-mentioned shallow comedies. From 1936 he also devoted himself to directing. This film became his biggest success before the war.

As a Jew, Haas had to flee his occupied homeland in 1939 and ultimately came to the USA. There he played in various smaller roles in the theater and in film, without ever becoming really successful or famous. In 1962 he moved to Vienna and visited Czechoslovakia again in 1963. He also tried to gain a foothold in the film world again, but without success. He died in Vienna in 1968.

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)


Zentralkino Dresden
Kraftwerk Mitte 16
01067 Dresden


Tel: +49 351 3107375


The Zentralkino is located on the grounds of the (Kultur-) Kraftwerk Mitte (see site plan, no. 16). There are entrances at Wettiner Platz, from Könneritzstraße and from Ehrlichstraße.

From "Bahnhof Mitte" directions_railway directions_bus it is about 350 m, from "Haltepunkt Freiberger Straße" directions_railway directions_bus about 500 m walk to the cinema. Various tram lines also stop at both stations. From the stop "Schweriner Straße" directions_railway directions_bus it is 400 m.

The large car park for Kraftwerk Mitte is located behind the railway embankment. Access is from Löbtauer Straße. From the car park you can get to the cinema through a passageway and via Könneritzstraße.

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