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Dir. Hermann Kosterlitz
88 min


Saturday, February 17 at 2:00pm

Highlighting restored, archival, and silent cinema from Il Cinema Ritrovato's annual festival in Bologna, Italy.

About Peter

When we meet Eva Wild (Franziska Gaal), she and her grandfather have just been evicted from their humble flat. Together, they try to make ends meet in a world that has only contempt for the poor. A thief stealing Eva’s last dress turns out to be a blessing in disguise: now dressed as a boy and calling herself Peter, she embarks on several schemes that might eventually turn her fortune.

The European outpost of Universal Pictures, lead by Hollywood legend Joe Pasternak, was the most important producer of German-language exile cinema. Between 1933 and 1936, several films were made in Hungary and Austria, most of them directed by Hermann Kosterlitz and/or starring Franziska Gaal. Peter, the first collaboration of the two, is perfectly attuned to the charms of its star, and it also features the work of several other Jewish artists banned from German screens, such as comedians Otto Wallburg and Felix Bressart, screenwriter Felix Joachimson and composer Nikolaus Brodszky. Transforming the experience of displacement into art is also the film’s near-utopian theme. While refraining, like most German-language exile films, from explicit political commentary, the gentle crossdressing comedy, not unlike the work of Capra and Chaplin, lays bare the social meaning of fantasy play. To desire to be somebody else means to desire to change the world. And sometimes, it might just work. As one of the songs in the film puts it: "Funny is the world, like a dream / Sometimes you can hardly recognise yourself / You are never quite the way you like to be." —Lukas Foerster

This film is courtesy of Filmarchiv Austria

Returning to the Twin Cities for a second year, Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour presents rare, restored, and recovered archival cinema. Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour–Minneapolis will screen films at The Main Cinema from February 15–17, 2024. Closing night (February 18) will take place at the Heights Theater and will feature a new restoration of Ernst Lubitsch’s take on an Oscar Wilde classic, Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Presented in partnership by Archives on Screen, Twin Cities, MSP Film Society, and Cineteca di Bologna, the festival will screen highlights from Il Cinema Ritrovato’s 2023 lineup. Il Cinema Ritrovato is an annual international film festival that exhibits new restorations and archival films in Bologna, Italy.

Archives on Screen is proud to partner with Il Cinema Ritrovato and Cineteca di Bologna to curate selections from their festival for Twin Cities audiences.


Film Details

Program: Il Cinema Ritrovato On Tour
Release Year: 1934
Runtime: 88 min
Country/Region: Germany, Hungary
Language: German


Director: Hermann Kosterlitz
Cinematographer: Stefan Eiben
Screenwriter: story by Sándor Nádas, screenplay byFelix Joachimson, Johann von Vásáry
Editor: Viktor Gertler
Composer: Nicholas Brodszky, songs by Fritz Rotter
Principal Cast: Franziska Gaal (Eva/Peter), Hans Járay (Robert Bandler), Etha von Storm (Mary), Felix Bressart (grampa), Anton Pointner (Steffani), Imre Ráday (thief), Otto Wallburg (Mr. Zöllner)