The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1626  Thursday, 31 August 2000.

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Aug 2000 14:40:35 -0400
Subject:        Jacob the Liar and King Lear

Jacob the Liar and King Lear

In the 1999 (dir. Peter Kassovitz) remake of the DDR film Jacob the Liar
(dir. Frank Beyer, 1974), set in the Nazi controlled Warsaw ghetto, King
Lear comes up in the context of a marriage negotiation.  Misha (Lev
Schreiber), a boxer, asks the hand of Rosa (Nina Siemaszko), daughter of
Mr. (Alan Arkin) and Mrs. Frankfurter (Grazyna Barzsczweska).  When
Frankfurter opposes the marriage on the grounds that they all have no
future, Misha replies that the war will end very soon because the
Russians are at Bezonica.  Misha asks Frankfurter "Do you know where
Bezonica is?" and Frankfurter replies:

"Do I know where Bezonica is? I played King Lear there three times. 'As
flies to .. .' (he pauses and tries to remember the rest of the line)
Mrs. Frankfurter helps by adding 'As flies to wanton boys') and
Frankfurter then remembers:  'As flies to wanton boys, they kill us for
their sport.'"

Misha supports his claim that he heard from Jakob Heym (Robin Williams)
who has a radio.  Frankfurter consents to the marriage, but destroys his
own radio, which he fears will be found and will then result in his
being shot and hung after the Nazis find out about Heym's radio and
search the ghetto for radios.

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