NATAN, rough poster test by Enda O’Connor.
NATAN, the documentary by Paul Duane and myself, screens this evening at 18:10 at the Irish Film Institute. Fiona and I are flying over in the morning. Paul and I will be wafted before the public’s adoring eye at the screening. We may also be appearing on a panel later in the weekend, entitled How To Get Your Documentary Made or something like that. Hilarious, since I know nothing whatsoever about the subject — Paul deserves all the credit for getting NATAN made. But I might be able to describe some of the things he did that resulted in the film getting made.
Bernard Natan used to sign his films — literally, his producer credit was an animated signature inscribing itself on the screen. And then, as Natan’s reputation was destroyed and his company taken away from him, a lot of his films were shorn of their signatures. When the movies got re-released, it was considered embarrassing for their executive producer’s name to be seen. And during the Occupation, many Jewish filmmakers were quietly erased from title sequences.
Since then, Natan’s name has been restored to some of his films, and a few historians have attempted to restore his reputation. That’s the effort Paul and I hope to contribute to with our film, which should tell a dramatic and tragic story, shine a light upon some neglected corners of cinema history — but also help give Bernard Natan his good name back ~