Natan, the ghost of Francoeur Street
Documentary by Francis Gendron. Released June 19, 2019. Portrait of one of the most important and controversial characters in pre-war cinema. Bernard Natan, born Natan Tannenzaft in 1886 from Jewish parents in Romania, helped found the film industry in France. In 1929, he acquired Pathé, the largest company in France. It builds a wide network of cinemas, produces more than 65 feature films, modernizes studios and theatres to adapt them to talking cinema. But Bernard Natan’s takeover coincided with the Great Depression. And he was attacked without respite by the French press. Many of these attacks are anti-Semitic in nature. He became “the most hated Jew in France”.
1935, Pathé goes bankrupt, the authorities charge Natan with fraud.
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