Euroregion Elbe/Labe

»Bílá nemoc« on April 3rd at Czech Film Wednesday

The 1937 film “Bílá nemoc” (The White Disease) used the example of a fictional dictatorship to draw attention to the dangers of fascism.


»Bilá němoc« (The white disease)
© Národní filmový archive

April begins on Easter Monday, which means that Wednesday is another Czech Film Wednesday. This time we are showing “Bílá nemoc” (The White Disease) from 1937.

This will be the oldest film so far at Czech Film Wednesday. The 1930s in Czechoslovakia were characterized by relatively shallow comedies, which is why suitable films from this decade are rare. “Bílá nemoc” stands out, which is certainly due to the original by the famous Karel Čapek.

About the content: A mysterious illness is raging in a totalitarian state where a strict marshal rules and threatens neighboring states with war. 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 for the white disease, but he does not 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...

The film clearly takes up developments in neighboring Germany since 1933, which is also heading towards war. Czechoslovakia becomes the first victim of Hitler's war ambitions in 1938, just one year after the film, through the Munich Agreement and in 1939 through the final occupation. This makes the film also an important contemporary document.


More about the film and tickets

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

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