Rape of Europe, The: Mnemsha's Acclaimed Docu Finds Audience
May 11, 2008 Neil Friedman, President of Menemsha Films, has announced that Menemshas release of the acclaimed documentary, THE RAPE OF EUROPA, has passed the One Million Dollar ($1,000,000) mark in gross ticket sales for its 2007-2008 U.S. distribution.
Written, Produced and Directed by Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen and Nicole Newnham, and co-produced by Robert M. Edsel, THE RAPE OF EUROPA, based on Lynn H. Nicholas's landmark book and narrated by Joan Allen, opened in San Francisco in May, 2007, and in the past year has played continuously in theatres across the country.
The requests for the film keep pouring in from every market in the country, says Friedman. We played for over 18 weeks in San Francisco, 15 weeks in NYC, 9 weeks in Boston and multiple week engagements in over 60 cities across the U.S. The film is stronger than ever now theatrically as word of mouth has spread.
In a journey through seven countries, THE RAPE OF EUROPA takes the audience into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought back with an extraordinary effort to safeguard, rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures.
THE RAPE OF EUROPA begins and ends with the story of artist Gustav Klimts famed Gold Portrait, stolen from Viennese Jews in 1938 and now the most expensive painting ever sold. Today, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. According to U.S. estimates, the Nazis stole one-fifth of all the known artworks in Europe. While the Allies returned most of the displaced art in the decade following the war, much of the loot is still missing. Tragically, unique masterpieces were destroyed and lost to posterity forever. Other works of artthe last, forgotten victims of the warsurvived but remain unidentified, traceable only with costly and difficult investigation.
2008 Menemsha Films for U.S.distribution include:
BEAUTY IN TROUBLE, the latest work from the fruitful, long-time partnership of Jan Hebejk and Petr Jarchovsks (the directing/writing team responsible for such acclaimed Czech films as the Academy Award nominated Divided We Fall, and Up and Down), will open in New York at the Angelika Film Center on June 13th, 2008. A complex look at the power and changeability of intimate relationships, BEAUTY IN TROUBLE tells the romantic story of a young woman (the exceptional Aa Geislerov) dealing with a dilemma of loving two men at once (Roman Luknr and Josef Abrhm); a dilemma between sexual dependence and assuring a future for herself and her children (Adam Mik and Michaela Mrvkov); a dilemma in her relationship to her mother (Jana Brejchov) and step-father (Ji Schmitzer) and with her mother-in-law (Emlia Vryov). Full of the ideas of fate, love and redemption, BEAUTY IN TROUBLE is a film about relationships and their unexpected twists and turns. (Premieres June 13 at the Angelika Film Center in NYC).
LIVE AND BECOME, which won multiple awards at the Berlin Film Festival and was a major hit in France, winning both a Csar Award and Prix Lumire. The film received a rare standing ovation at the Telluride Film Festival and has won an unprecedented number of Audience Awards at Berlin, Aspen, Copenhagen, Vancouver, as well as at the Boston, Washington, Atlanta, and Miami Jewish Film Festivals. (Opening around the country since its Fall 2007 debut at the Paris Theatre in NYC).
In the three years the company has been in domestic distribution (Menemsha is also a world sales company), this is the second theatrical film that has exceeded $1 million gross. Menemsha broke records with its theatrical release of GLOOMY SUNDAY, overcoming Cinema Paradiso as the longest consecutive theatrical run in Boston ever, 70 consecutive weeks! The film's U.S. box office topped $1.5 million and was released on Warner Brother's DVD label in 2006. In 2007, the company launched Menemsha DVD to sell its titles for home use through the web site and in stores nationwide. Menemshas film library encompasses 25 titles.
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