The Ancient Law

  • Wed Nov 14
The Ancient Law

Live musical accompaniment by Alicia Svigals (violin) and Donald Sosin (piano)
Free Admission

E.A. Dupont
Henny Porten, Ruth Weyher

This new digital restoration of E.A. Dupont’s The Ancient Law was a hit at the most recent Berlin International Film Festival. A German silent about Jewish life in 19th Century Europe, the film is a precursor to Warner Bros’ The Jazz Singer. Based on the memoirs of Heinrich Laube, the director of the Vienna Burgtheater in the mid-1900s, the film tells the story of an orthodox rabbi’s son who yearns to become an actor, against the wishes of his father. It also features wonderful scenes depicting shtetl life. This important piece of German-Jewish cinematic history will be shown with live musical accompaniment by pianist Donald Sosin and acclaimed Klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals, playing their newly-commissioned score for the film.

Cosponsored with the Jewish Studies Program, the Dept of German Studies, the Dept of Music, the Institute for German Cultural Studies, Cornell Hillel, and the Sunshine Foundation for Education and the Arts.


New digital restoration
Ithaca premiere
DCP bw
2 hours 8 minutes
release year/country
1923 Germany