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PRINT September 2014

NOA NOA ON THE WANNSEE: TABU, PEOPLE ON SUNDAY, AND THE LOST PARADISE OF SILENT FILM

Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday), 1930, 35 mm, black-and-white, silent, 73 minutes. Christl Ehlers.

Silent film was not ripe for replacement. It had not lost its fruitfulness, but only its profitability.
—Rudolf Arnheim, “The Sad Future of Film” (1930)1

THE DOORS OF EDEN BANGED SHUT. Even so, during the summer of 1929, facing the clamorous inevitability of the talking picture and only months before the crash that would announce the Great Depression, a handful of filmmakers sought refuge in the “natural world” of the soundless movie.

And so silent cinema ended with two last visits to paradise, made at more or less the same time, their crews going on location to document their human subjects in a state of nature: Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (which premiered in New York in 1931) and Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday; released in Germany in 1930). In late spring 1929, a pair of established artists—F. W. Murnau, the German genius of studio mise-en-scène, and Robert Flaherty, the so-called father of the American documentary—took off from Hollywood for Polynesia to scout locations, even as a group of ambitious young Berliners, industry wannabes all, sought their Tahiti in the city’s outlying woodlands on the banks of the Wannsee.

Murnau was guided by Flaherty, who had already made two movies in the South Pacific: his second feature, Moana (1926), a generally admired documentary shot in Samoa, and the less successful (at least for him) commercial project White Shadows in the South Seas (1928), ultimately directed by his erstwhile assistant W. S. “One-Take Woody” Van Dyke. But in Murnau’s desire to begin anew, his real model was Paul Gauguin, some of whose Tahitian paintings —Upa Upa (The Fire Dance), 1891; La fuite (Flight), 1902; Manao Tupapau (Watched by the Spirit of the Dead), 1892—Tabu consciously or unconsciously paraphrased, and from whom the director took the motto “All that your civilization gives rise to produces only disease.”2

The less drastic dictum for the weekend filmmakers we might call the “Sunday collective” (the brothers Curt and Robert Siodmak, set designer and Murnau assistant Edgar G. Ulmer, journalist Billy Wilder, and cameraman Eugen Schüfftan and his assistant Fred Zinnemann) could have been taken from the contemporaneous sociological reportage that Siegfried Kracauer published as Die Angestellten (The Salaried Masses) only weeks before People on Sunday opened: “Hundreds of thousands of salaried employees throng the streets of Berlin daily, yet their life is more unknown than that of the primitive tribes at whose habits those same employees marvel in films.”3

It is a paradox of cinema’s development that the avant-garde characteristically looks back to the medium’s earlier stages. Thus defying history—insisting that technological progress stand still, even as their makers exploited the inherent advantages of silent movies—Tabu and People on Sunday were not so much exercises in nostalgia as utopian undertakings, set, at least partially, in what Ernst Bloch would call “wish-landscapes.” These anomalous films were collaborative, programmatically anti-industrial projects made in opposition to “normal” cinema. German filmmakers had raised studio filmmaking to great heights; now, they were looking to escape. And yet Murnau would re-create a version of the Hollywood he fled.

Tahiti was a well-trodden path, particularly for French artists. The poet Paul Éluard made the trip in 1924. Murnau encountered two lesser-known Surrealists there, the painters Georges Malkine (who had been inspired to make the trip by White Shadows in the South Seas) and Émile Savitry (subsequently invited by Murnau to provide Tabu’s production stills). Henri Matisse arrived as well and spent some time on the Tabu “set,” where he was photographed by Murnau. Originally, the movie was to have been made in color and financed by an independent company. The deal fell through once Murnau was in Tahiti, and he sank his own funds into the production, now to be in black and white and employ a crew recruited from the island’s native population. (“It is very instructive to notice how the ideology of bourgeois film production smuggles its way into even such a film,” Rudolf Arnheim would note in an unfavorable review.4)

Murnau and the Sunday collective were not the first German film artists to leave the studio, aspire to ethnographic authenticity, and wrest a story out of life. Walter Ruttmann’s prismatic documentary feature Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927) can be seen as a precursor; Wilfried Basse’s time-lapse Market in Berlin (1929) is something of an analogue. But unlike those, Tabu and People on Sunday were documentary fictions, in which supposedly everyday people took the place of movie stars. (“The newsreel offers everyone the opportunity to rise from passer-by to movie extra,” Walter Benjamin would write a few years later.5) The Hollywood cult of beauty was not abandoned, though. These were movies that celebrated youth, featuring strapping, bare-chested young men and vivacious teenage girls in formfitting bathing attire.

Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday), 1930, 35 mm, black-and-white, silent, 73 minutes.

The stars might as well have been naked. As emphasized in the films’ publicity and announced in their credits, amateurs played unadorned versions of themselves. Subtitled “A Film Without Actors,” People on Sunday noted the day jobs held by its principals, insisting that “these five people had never appeared in front of a camera before”—a dubious claim given that the intertitles describe one of the young women as a “film extra” and another as a “fashion model.” Indeed, People on Sunday frames its characters as children of the movies. An early sequence satirizing domestic life is a film within the film; the only apparent studio scene, it draws attention to its artifice by opening on a living-room wall that the couple have consecrated with pinups of their favorite movie stars. Later, a shopgirl brings a portable phonograph on the Sunday outing to provide an unheard sound track for the picnickers’ lives.

As for Tabu’s cast, the film’s introductory disclaimer is more ambiguous: “Only native-born South Sea Islanders appear in this picture with a few half-castes and Chinese.” This was generally the case, although Murnau’s “sacred maiden” was herself a “half-caste”: Anna Chevalier, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a French doctor and a Polynesian schoolteacher, who, less naive village girl than Tahitian flapper, was discovered dancing for tourists in a local cocktail bar. The director dressed her in a sarong and gave her the name Reri.

The question is whether the image decisively catches reality.
—Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses (1930)6

AN UNCANNY PRECURSOR to Roberto Rossellini’s portrait of bombed-out Berlin, Germany Year Zero (1948), and the prototype for Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955) and John Cassavetes’s Shadows (1959) (two subsequent examples of weekend filmmaking), People on Sunday anticipates Neorealism and its permutations, including the Nouvelle Vague, cinema verité, the New American Cinema, Dogme 95, reality TV, and mumblecore. (Jean-Luc Godard, who regards the film as a precursor to his 1966 Masculin féminin, includes snippets from it in his new 3-D feature, Adieu au langage [Goodbye to Language, 2014].) Elaborating on Flaherty’s Moana and other ethnographic romances of the 1920s, Tabu is closer to Luchino Visconti’s 1948 La Terra Trema, in which a Sicilian fishing village plays itself. It also anticipates the exotic documentary fictions concocted by Werner Herzog in the ’70s.

People on Sunday was an ethnographic excursion as well—at least in the sense that Kracauer called his own “little expedition” into the habitat of the salaried worker “more of an adventure than any film trip to Africa.”7 Like Tabu, People on Sunday begins on an atoll—namely, a traffic island in a sea of trams and pedestrians near the Bahnhof Zoo in central Berlin. Narrative coalesces out of the city’s flux; characters emerge from the crowd. Twenty-nine-year-old wine salesman Wolf (Wolfgang von Waltershausen) and chic, diffident Christl (Christl Ehlers), a girl still in her teens, are temporary inhabitants of the isle, observed in long shot.

Intertitles are sparse. We are not even made privy to Wolf’s means of self-introduction; we see only that the two meet, cross the boulevard together, and wind up in a café—the casual pickup resulting in a date to spend the following day together (among thousands of recreating Berliners), swimming at Wannsee and picnicking in the surrounding woodlands. Cautious Christl shows up at the appointed spot with her “best friend,” Brigitte (Brigitte Borchert), a shopgirl. Wolf had planned to bring another couple, Erwin (Erwin Splettstößer), a cab driver, and his live-in girlfriend, Annie (Annie Schreyer), a model, but she oversleeps and Erwin goes without her. (He leaves Annie a note, but she never shows up.)

Thus, the principals form a romantically asymmetrical foursome. Apparently committed to Annie, Erwin is sexually taboo; Wolf is attracted to Christl, but her ambivalent response to his advances—recalling the sort of splashy fun with which Reri engages her suitor, Matahi—soon redirects his ardor toward the more receptive Brigitte. Moody Christl grows increasingly dismayed while, in a scene still remarkable for its offhanded brevity, Wolf and Brigitte flit away together in the woods (ostensibly playing a game of tag) and make love. Afterward, Brigitte lies back dreamily in the grass—a child of nature or a reclining Tahitian. As the day ends, the would-be couple make tentative, perhaps pro forma, plans to get together again the next Sunday.

This slight narrative is embedded in all manner of stolen documentary inserts—of the park, the boats, children at play, middle-aged women bathing. The camera’s subjects are not oblivious to its presence, nor is the camera oblivious to itself. The filmmakers position their instrument on a speeding motorcycle or a moving tram and, following their stars, wade with it into the lake. There was no formal script; the action was all but improvised. According to Borchert, seemingly the only cast member to speak about the movie, a new scenario was invented each day; she remembers being directed on-camera particularly in her love scene. The budget was improvised as well. Fred Zinnemann, an admirer and later associate of Flaherty’s, maintained that the filmmakers “had to stop every two or three days to raise money.”8

Still from F. W. Murnau’s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, 1931, 35 mm, black-and-white, silent, 86 minutes. Reri and Matahi.

Opening in Berlin in February 1930, even as Joseph Goebbels was in the process of manufacturing the first Nazi martyr, Horst Wessel, People on Sunday was a hit, albeit a local one. (It would not have a New York showing until Cinema 16 screened it in a December 1957 program devoted to “summer love.”) “Nothing actually happens and yet it still captures that which has to do with all of us,” one German reviewer wrote.9 “What these beginners are doing wrong is a thousand times more important than what a troupe of dexterous commercial film manufacturers does right,” declared Arnheim, who reviewed the movie in Die Weltbühne.10 Performance was a state of being. Arnheim found it “fascinating to watch [the nonactors] just because they do not yet tilt their heads up and to the side with routine smoothness, as though they were on a tripod, and because occasionally something alive and spontaneous flits across these unpainted faces.”11

People on Sunday partook of what Kracauer called “the exoticism of a commonplace existence,”12 the ordinary reality that the Polynesians termed noa (a word that, as doubled by Gauguin, signified the pleasant fragrance he associated with the perfume of the native women’s hair). Tabu was rather the reverse: The commonplace was here exotic. The movie took its title from the Polynesian word signifying the opposite of noa—namely, that which is uncanny, dangerous, and forbidden by the gods. Writing in Totem and Taboo (1913), a book with which Murnau was surely familiar, Sigmund Freud compared primitive society’s taboos to “the obsessional prohibition of neurotics.”13

Tabu is repressed, while People on Sunday is uninhibited. More schematic and less spontaneous than Sunday, Tabu was in production far longer; it was shot over a period of fifteen months, wrapping in the autumn of 1930. (Flaherty filmed only the first few scenes—Matahi and his friends spearfishing off some rocks and gamboling in a waterfall. His camera malfunctioned, and Hollywood cinematographer Floyd Crosby shot the remainder of the movie.) The drama is divided in two. The first part, filmed mainly on the island of Bora Bora and titled “Paradise,” presents the “natural” lifestyle of the native Polynesians. Somewhat more self-conscious than the youthful Berliners on Sunday, their Polynesian contemporaries laugh and cry, fish, swim, dance, don flowers, and frolic in nature. Then fate intervenes.

A schooner arrives bearing the king’s grim emissary, Hitu (played with stone-faced gravity by an eighty-four-year-old onetime prime minister of the Society Islands). Reri, he announces, has been chosen as the new “sacred maiden” and will hereafter be taboo, not just for Matahi but for all men. In the movie’s second part, inevitably known as “Paradise Lost,” Reri and Matahi flee to civilized (and hence degraded) Tahiti, where, although they are free to shack up together, he is compelled to make money, a concept he doesn’t understand. Followed by an implacable nemesis (“watched by the spirit of the dead”), Reri ultimately succumbs to her destiny as, in a justly famous final sequence, Matahi does to his—and Murnau to his.

The director supposedly constructed his set on forbidden territory. His enterprise was a sacrilege, and, to add to the movie’s aura of overwhelming fatalism, it appeared posthumously. Murnau died in a car accident seven days before the New York premiere on March 18, 1931, and five months before the film opened in Berlin at the end of August. Tabu, which grossed just $472,000 worldwide, failed to recoup its investment—although, in a surreal coincidence, it was revived as a second feature for the first run of George Melford’s East of Borneo (1931), the primary source of the found footage Joseph Cornell used to make Rose Hobart (1936).14

If, citing Tabu’s “visual perfection” in Film-Kurier, Lotte Eisner called Murnau’s swan song “the pinnacle of silent film art,”15 Arnheim, who reviewed Tabu in Die Weltbühne, was less impressed: Murnau and Flaherty, he wrote, “show the islanders how it is supposed to look on a romantic South Seas island. The pretty mountains on the horizon and the thin arcs of the palm trunks look almost as though they’d been constructed in the studio whenever, in these authentic surroundings, the real South Seas people enact a Hollywood Tahiti. There is a surplus of flowering branches and garlands, as if a seasonal clearance sale on beauty were taking place in Paradise.”16(In the US, Marxist critic Harry Alan Potamkin saw a similar sentimental obfuscation: “The wish to emphasize paradise is a typical plaintiveness in the soul of the movie-man.”17)

Indeed, Murnau did sweeten the nocturnal scenes with an outsize artificial moon—and, as Eisner disapprovingly noted, the “odd, short-legged Inselmädchen [island girl]” Reri (whom she outed as half white) had already been signed to cavort on a Broadway stage.18

F. W. Murnau’s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, 1931, 35 mm, black-and-white, silent, 86 minutes.

The reflected image has become separable, transportable. And where is it transported?
—Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936)19

WRITING ON THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE of acting for the camera and proposing that, in depriving film actors of a live audience, motion pictures stripped them of their aura, Benjamin argued that “the cult of the movie star, fostered by the money of the film industry” served to compensate for this loss with “the ‘spell of personality,’ the phony spell of a commodity.”20 It may be, however, that no studio buildup was necessary: Motion pictures could naturally cast this spell, particularly if the subjects were young, beautiful, and innocent—and, captured on celluloid, destined to remain forever so. Tabu is programmatically elegiac; People on Sunday is more poignant in its representation of a (soon-to-be) vanished world than its makers could possibly have known. Seen today, these documentary fictions cannot help but inspire curiosity regarding the subsequent lives of the nonprofessionals who wandered through them—a subject partially addressed in the extras found on the films’ most recent DVD releases.

The Criterion Collection disc presenting the Nederlands Filmmuseum’s 1997 digital restoration of People on Sunday includes a short documentary on the making of the film, Weekend am Wannsee (2000), which features interviews with Brigitte Borchert and Curt Siodmak (at that time, the production’s sole survivors besides Billy Wilder); the Milestone Collection DVD of Tabu (already out of print) additionally offers “Reri in New York,” tantalizingly brief footage of Anna Chevalier posed in Western street clothes in and around Riverside Park.

Still sprightly in her late eighties, Borchert (who died in 2011) sheds some light on the improvisatory means by which People on Sunday was made and rather less on the fate of her costars. Christl Ehlers, who was Jewish, left Germany after the Nazi seizure of power. (Her trajectory led her from Mallorca to the UK to Los Angeles, where, along with a number of other German émigrés, she appeared in MGM’s anti-Nazi Norma Shearer vehicle Escape [1940]; that small role would be Ehlers’s only other screen performance.) Erwin Splettstößer and Wolfgang von Waltershausen were both given minor parts in movies directed by Robert Siodmak, for whom People on Sunday served as an industry calling card before he was forced to leave Germany. Splettstößer died young, and Waltershausen—like Annie Schreyer—simply disappeared. Borchert recalls that, in the aftermath of People on Sunday, she received film offers and even made a few personal appearances in connection with the movie, before marrying the illustrator Wilhelm M. Busch (beneath whose portraits she is interviewed) and withdrawing into private life.

Tabu’s stars metaphorically recapitulated their on-screen fates. Matahi sank into oblivion, having returned to his workaday existence, while the designated star Reri was transported off to another realm. Shortly before his death, Murnau wrote that, having completed Tabu, he left Reri “to continue her life as a carefree young Polynesian girl,” smugly noting that “sooner or later she will marry.”21 It had been the director’s fantasy that his sacred maiden would appear only in Tabu, but Tabu delivered her image to the world.

As it happens, the movie was seen by another showman, Florenz Ziegfeld, who invited Reri to perform her carefree Polynesian dance in his 1931 Follies. “Mr. Ziegfeld has found nothing more ineffable for her than a stale South Sea island sketch involving our potent navy,” Brooks Atkinson wrote in the New York Times on July 2, 1931, “but her beauty is . . . uncorrupted by the Broadway artifices. Her dancing has the grace and rhythm of a woodland waterfall. Nothing could be more enchanting than the flow of her waist and hands in this glimpse of native dancing, and nothing could be more alien to a tooting Sixth Avenue festival.”Reri appeared in a second New York show, and in 1932 toured the US as a vaudeville performer—there exists a delightful publicity photo of her in a grass skirt getting a manicure and a comb-out in a beauty shop in Madison, Wisconsin—before going on to Europe, where her enthusiastic reception suggested the arrival of a new Josephine Baker.

Not yet twenty-one, she became smitten with Eugeniusz Bodo, a former child star who had only recently been anointed by local fans as the King of Polish Actors. Living out her own movie, Reri cut short her European tour to become the King’s concubine and appear with him in Czarna Perła (Black Pearl, 1934), a movie by the prolific Polish director Michał Waszyński, which can be seen as Tabu’s grotesque sequel or a retelling of the actress’s own sad story: Reri plays a Tahitian girl named Moana (!), brought by her sailor lover back to Warsaw, where, although successful on the stage, she is mistreated by her paramour and comes to a bad end.

Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer, Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday), 1930, 35 mm, black-and-white, silent, 73 minutes.

André Bazin considered the use of nonactors to be the crucial element in Neorealist and related forms of cinema. But because the nonactor can only be innocent once, this aesthetically productive method was, he wrote in his essay on cinematic realism, inherently unstable: “Disintegration can be observed most clearly and quickly in children’s films or films using native peoples.” (Or, he might have added, in movies made with spoken dialogue.) As a cautionary addendum, Bazin noted that “little Reri of Tabu, they say, ended up a prostitute in Poland.”22 Perhaps, but only in the sense that she was paid, we hope, to act before the camera. Washed up at twenty-five, Murnau’s “sacred maiden”returned from Europe to Tahiti in the late ’30s, stopping in Hollywood during the spring of 1937 to appear, uncredited, in John Ford’s The Hurricane. (Several minutes into the movie, she is shown ringing a church bell; during the climactic hurricane, she has another close-up, clutching a child, also in the church.) Like Christl Ehlers, she ended her movie career as a nonspeaking extra.

Borchert left us no account of how she and her fellow People on Sunday survived the Hitlerzeit and the Weltkrieg. The woman born Anna Chevalier, however, postscripted Tabu with a haunting number in Black Pearl, performing a sort of shimmy-hula Charleston on a Warsaw stage, possibly blacked up, her lines certainly dubbed in Polish:

I want to be white for you, just like you.
Have clear eyes and bright face and bright heart—as you have.
I want to be white for you and good as you are,
Because it’s so good to be with you, without you it’s bad.
I want to be white, so that you love me.23

The fallen world, the false reality, and the real falsity of sound!

J. Hoberman is a frequent contributor to Artforum.

NOTES

1. Rudolf Arnheim, “The Sad Future of Film,” in Film Essays and Criticism, trans. Brenda Bethien (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997), 12. Originally published as “Die traurige Zukunft des Films,” in Die Weltbühne, September 9, 1930, pp. 402–404.

2. Of course, Goethe had said something similar to Johann Peter Eckermann and even expressed a particular longing: “There is something more or less wrong among us old Europeans; our relations are far too artificial and complicated, our nutriment and mode of life are without their proper nature, and our social intercourse is without proper love and good will. . . . Often one cannot help wishing that one had been born upon one of the South Sea Islands, a so-called savage, so as to have thoroughly enjoyed human existence in all its purity, without any adulteration.” Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann and Soret, trans. John Oxenford (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1850), 2: 55–56. Murnau himself considered the Polynesians he encountered “Gauguin paintings brought to life.” Deniz Göktürk, “Postcolonial Amnesia: Taboo Memories and Kanaks with Cameras,” in German Colonialism, Visual Culture, and Modern Memory, ed. Volker M. Langbehn (New York: Routledge, 2012), 294.

3. Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses: Duty and Distraction in Weimar Germany, trans. Quintin Hoare (New York: Verso, 1998), 29.

4. Arnheim, “Tabu,” in Film Essays and Criticism, 167. Originally published in Die Weltbühne, September 1, 1931.

5. Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 231.

6. Kracauer, The Salaried Masses, 68.

7. Ibid., 32.

8. Gabriel Miller, ed., Fred Zinnemann: Interviews (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005), 38.

9. Author unknown, “That’s Exactly How It Is! The Triumph of the Movie Studio and the Unmasking of the Business-Cycle Industry,” in Noah Isenberg, Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 40. Originally published as “So ist es und nicht anders! Der Sieg des Filmstudios und die Entlarvung der Konjunkturindustrie,” in the Berliner Herold, February 9, 1930.

10. Arnheim, “Tauber Sound and Studio,” in Film Essays and Criticism, 156. Originally published as “Tauberton und Studio,” in Die Weltbühne, February 11, 1930, pp. 246–48.

11. Ibid., 155.

12. Kracauer, The Salaried Masses, 29.

13. Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo, trans. James Strachey (New York: W. W. Norton, 1950), 26.

14. The Surrealists admired Tabu as they had Moana, albeit attributing its qualities to Murnau. In Le Surréalisme au cinéma, first published in 1953, Ado Kyrou praises Murnau as “an admirable erotic poet” and Tabu as Murnau’s crowning achievement. “There is much more optimism in Tabu’s unhappy ending than in that of the falsely accommodating Nosferatu. Fear is vanquished by love.” Kyrou, Le Surréalisme au cinéma (Paris: Le Terrain Vague, 1963), 76–77 (translation provided by Mara Hoberman).

Still from F. W. Murnau’s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, 1931, 35 mm, black-and-white, silent, 86 minutes.

15. Lotte H. Eisner, “Tabu,” Film-Kurier, August 28, 1931.

16. Arnheim, “Tabu,” in Film Essays and Criticism, 167. Kracauer, who reviewed Tabu in the Frankfurter Zeitung (October 6, 1931) was also critical. Murnau’s movie struck him as overly subjective, tainted by nostalgia, and uninterested in physical reality. Comparing the movie unfavorably to Heinrich Hauser’s city symphony Chicago: Weltstadt in Flegeljahren (Chicago—A World City Stretches Its Wings, 1931), he argued, according to Assenka Oksiloff, that “the ‘wilderness’ in Chicago is captured more successfully in the seemingly more familiar urban setting than in Murnau’s ‘exotic’ island one.” Oksiloff, “Shot on the Spot: Primitive Film,” South Central Review 16, no. 2/3 (1999): 17.

17. Harry Alan Potamkin, “Lost Paradise: Tabu,” in The Compound Cinema: The Film Writings of Harry Alan Potamkin, ed. Lewis Jacobs (New York: Teachers College Press, 1977), 489. Originally published in Creative Art, June 1931.

18. Eisner, “Tabu.”

19. Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” 231.

20. Ibid.

21. F. W. Murnau, “L’étoile du sud,” La Revue du Cinema, June 1931 (translation provided by Mara Hoberman).

22. André Bazin, What is Cinema? Volume II, trans. Hugh Gray (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 24.

23. The song “I Want to Be White for You” gave its title to a conference on ethnic, religious, and national distinctness and the possibility of cultural dialogue in a homogeneous society, organized at the University of Wrocław in Poland in late 2010; a clip was shown in a related show curated by Patrycja Sikora at the Studio BWA gallery in Wrocław.