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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Translucent Being: Albert Kahn

This is the story of an unobtrusive, worried man who decided to bequeath us images in order to warn us against a disaster. In 1908, the wealthy Parisian banker Albert Kahn embarks on a months-long round-the-world trip. He wants to get to know foreign countries and nations, to see everything with his own eyes in order to understand something that seems obvious to him: the world he has known so far is on the verge of collapse, it is subject to radical changes – and will soon disappear completely. Upon his return to France in 1912, Kahn launches an immense, unique project: “Archives of the Planet.” Ji.hlava IDFF presents a curated selection of Albert Kahn’s film materials.

Text: Albert-Kahn Museum

film database

Alleys of Chowk
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Alleys of Chowk

Stéphane Passet
France / 1914 / 1 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
Ammunition workers in Renault factories
Ammunition workers in Renault factories, Boulogne-Billancourt, 1917The operator shoots women making grenades at Renault's factory. The end of the film shows their leaving the factory. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Ammunition workers in Renault factories

N/A
France / 1917 / 2 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
Aspects of the city of Kapurthala
Aspects of the city of Kapurthala, India, November, 1927
Operator Roger Dumas was on a mission in India from November to December 1927. He filmed Kapurthala's skyline, views of the city centre, public and religious buildings, as well as craft shops and food stalls in the streets. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Aspects of the city of Kapurthala

Roger Dumas
France / 1927 / 4 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
Battlefields seen from an airship
Battlefields seen from an airship, Ailette, Reims, Paris, France, August, 1919 Lucien Le Saint, aboard a French Navy airship, flies over former battlefields in Northern France and Belgium, observing the state of cities and landscapes changed by the war. He flies over an area stretching from the River Ailette in the Department of Aisne to Reims in the Marne department. He overlooks Paris and its monuments including Sacré Coeur, the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. The footage also features: Chemin des Dames, Berry-au-Bac, The Vesles Valley, Fère-en-Tardenois, Reims and Paris. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Battlefields seen from an airship

Lucien Le Saint
France / 1919 / 11 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Brothels in Beirut, Lebanon, November 21-25, 1919
The film depicts prostitutes and soldiers of the French army (Lebanese and French) standing in front of brothels. The operators were on mission to the Middle East, Lebanon and Israel from 14 November 1919 to 4 January 1920.Frédéric Gadmer (photographer for this mission) and Lucien Le Saint (cinematographer) boarded the cruiser Waldeck-Rousseau in Toulon on 14 November 1919. They accompanied General Gouraud on his journey to Beirut, where he took up the post of High Commissioner for Syria and Cilicia. Having arrived in Beirut on 23 November, they covered the investiture ceremony and travelled with the general to Cilicia (December 10–12), Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, where a Christmas Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Dubois. Back in Beirut, they left for Marseille on 4 January. Fesnault, an operator working for Gaumont, and journalist Albert Londres were also part of the mission. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Brothels in Beirut

Lucien Le Saint
France / 1919 / 2 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
City of Fes, Morocco, June – July, 1926
Camille Sauvageot spent a month in the Middle East and filmed the former Moroccan capital, Fes. He focused on landscapes, the exterior of the Sultan's Palace, the ramparts and the city with its streets, shrines and inhabitants. He also passed through the Jewish Quarter, the souk and the cemetery. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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City of Fes

Camille Sauvageot
France / 1926 / 7 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
Compilation of footage of the monastery on Mount Athos and refugee camps in Thessaloniki
Compilation of footage of the monastery on Mount Athos and refugee camps in Thessaloniki, Greece, August – September, 1913 Stéphane Passet travelled through the Balkans, Greece and Bulgaria from 30 August to 2 October 1913. His film shows views of Mount Athos taken from a sailboat, and a refugee camp in Thessaloniki. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Compilation of footage of the monastery on Mount Athos and refugee camps in Thessaloniki

Stéphane Passet
France / 1913 / 7 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Czech visitors in the gardens of Albert Kahn, Boulogne-sur-Seine, April 24, 1921On this day, the Mayor of Prague Karel Baxa, his wife Amelia Jurković, Emanuel Čenkov (writer, member of the Prague delegation), Mrs. Slaminkowa and others visited Albert Kahn's gardens. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Czech visitors in the gardens of Albert Kahn

N/A
France / 1921 / 35 sec.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Departure of class 18 conscripts from Gare Montparnasse, Paris, April, 1917 The deployment of Class 18 was provided for by a law adopted on 1st March 1917. The departure took place on April 16 and marked the fourth class leaving for the front since the start of the war. Students were given special leave to take their exams. At the entrance to Montparnasse station, the operator filmed gendarmes checking the passes of future Class 18 soldiers. On the forecourt of the station (?), soldiers hold signs indicating various destinations (garrison towns). At the end of the film, the train leaves, full of saluting conscripts. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Departure of class 18 conscripts from Gare Montparnasse

N/A
France / 2 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Lamas in the streets of Urga, (today's Ulaanbaatar), Mongolia, July 20-25, 1913 Lama “servants” filmed in front of the Gandan Monastery building. Street scenes: Llamas relieve their bowels in the street. The operator was on a mission in Mongolia from 6 to 25 July 1913. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Lamas in the streets of Urga

Stéphane Passet
France / 1913 / 2 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
Les Grands Boulevards 1
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Les Grands Boulevards 1

N/A
France / 1913 / 4 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Les Grands Boulevards 2, Paris, 1917
The operator films a public pissoir on the Boulevard Saint-Martin in front of the side entrance to the Théâtre de la Renaissance. He then rides up the Boulevard Saint-Denis, passing in front of the Porte Saint-Denis, a line of cars on the Boulevard Saint-Martin, the Porte Saint-Martin and the Théâtre de la Renaissance. The end of the film takes place in front of the Hôtel de la Marine on Place de la Concorde. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Les Grands Boulevards 2

N/A
France / 1917 / 1 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Popular restaurants known as Henri Roy, Paris, December 11, 1919
The film captures the first restaurants offering meals at 2 francs. Henri Roy was Commissioner of Supply under the government of Georges Clemenceau from July 1918 to January 1920. The last restaurant in the sequence is located next to the Jeu de Paume in the Tuileries. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Popular restaurants known as Henri Roy

Camille Sauvageot
France / 1919 / 1 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Prague, 1920In 1918, the Czechoslovak Republic was born in Prague. Emerging after the First World War and the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, it could not have any other capital than Prague – Praga: Caput regni – the former capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, cradle of the Sokol movement, which was founded in 1862 to focus on physical and patriotic education of the youth. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Praga Caput Regni

Georges Thibaud
France / 1920 / 7 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Sokol festival and congress, Prague, June, 1920 The film begins with a parade of Sokols joined by groups of Moldovan women in national costumes. Spectators are flooding the stands and President Masaryk is present, too. 12,000 falcons enter the stadium, performing gymnastics and building human pyramids. A group of Moldovan peasants shows traditional dances.Shots of Prague: hustle and bustle on the Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge, Prague Astronomical Clock, fruit sellers at the market. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Sokol festival and congress

Georges Thibaud
France / 1920 / 7 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
St. Catherine's Day, Rue de la Paix, Paris, November 25, 1922
Every year, November 25 is celebrated in France as “Catherinettes’ day”. According to a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, 25-year-old girls who aren't yet married have to wear extravagant yellow-green hats in the hope of finding a husband. The film captures several groups of young girls walking around and posing for the camera in the fashion houses of Rue de la Paix. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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St. Catherine's Day

Lucien Le Saint
France / 1922 / 1 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
Views from the Ferris wheel
Views from the Ferris wheel, Paris, 1920 Panorama of the Champs de Mars and the Ecole Militaire shot from the Grande Roue, a Ferris wheel located at the intersection of Avenue de la Motte-Piquet and Avenue de Suffren. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Views from the Ferris wheel

Camille Sauvageot
France / 1920 / 1 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
noimage
Views taken from an airship, Paris, Boulogne, Saint-Cloud, Versailles, Sain-Cyr, August, 1919 Filming from an airship, the operator Lucien Le Saint captured Boulogne, Saint-Cloud, Versailles and the landing on the grounds of Saint-Cyr military school.The film begins with a passage over the west of Paris followed by a flyover of the Seine alongside Boulogne's Quai du 4 Septembre and views of Albert Kahn's estate and the Abondances district. The airship then flies over Saint-Cloud and the Seine, offering the operator a view of the Saint-Cloud Bridge. Then follows a flyover of Boulogne at the level of today's avenue du Général Leclerc, a view of Albert Kahn's property and the mansions of the Quai du 4 Septembre, including The Château Rothschild and its park.We see Versailles, the Notre-Dame market district, the Gardens of Versailles, the Bassin de Neptune, the palace and the Pièce d'eau des Suisses from above. At the end of the film, the airship passes above the Satory military camp before landing on the grounds of Saint-Cyr military school. © Département des Hauts-de-Seine – Musée Albert-Kahn, collection Archives de la Planète
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Views taken from an airship

Lucien Le Saint
France / 1919 / 2 min.
section: Translucent Being: Albert Kahn
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