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Alraune (PG*)

Silent Film & Live Music

Brigitte Helm lying on a cushion with face resting upon her hands

In this fable about the dangers of genetic engineering, a test-tube baby grows up to become a dangerous vamp

A scientist (Paul Wegener) embarks on an experiment to answer the question of whether an individual’s humanity is a product of nature or nurture. His plan: to inseminate a prostitute with the semen of a hanged murderer, and to make of the child a model citizen.

We join the story again years later with the child, now a teenager, at convent school. And something’s clearly not right: Alraune causes a rumpus in her dorm, cruelly drowns a fly, and puts a stag beetle down Mother Superior’s wimple. And worse: she is starting to intuit the awful power she has over men.

Despite advancing some pretty retro ideas about female sexuality, the film provides a wonderfully sexy, wicked role for Brigitte Helm and features some terrific 20s fashions.

The live musical accompaniment will be performed by Stephen Horne and Martin Pyne.

Germany 1928 Dir Henrik Galeen 108 min 35mm presentation

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