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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Notre-Dame de Paris is a novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1831, that focuses on the unhappy story of Quasimodo, the gipsy Esmeralda and the archdeacon Claude Frollo in 15th-century Paris. Its elements—medieval setting, impossible loves, and marginalised characters—make the novel a model for the literary themes of Romanticism.

Hugo’s book opens with a popular celebration of the Epiphany of 1482 at the Palais de Justice. The play introduces us to Esmeralda, a gipsy dancer, Quasimodo, a deformed young hunchback who is in charge of the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral, and the archdeacon Claude Frollo, the bell-ringer’s foster father.

Esmeralda, thanks to her great physical beauty, attracts the poet-student Pierre Gringoire and Captain Febo de Châteaupers, but also Claude Frollo, who decides to kidnap her. Frollo then orders his protégé Quasimodo to kidnap her.

The intervention of Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers prevents the kidnapping from taking place and leads Quasimodo to be condemned to public torture. The hunchback is flogged in the square and receives all the hatred and insults of the people, who cruelly despise him for his ugliness. Quasimodo asks for water and Esmeralda climbs the scaffold to quench his thirst.

I don’t want to tell the whole story but I do want to point out that at midnight I modified the post about my 50 recommended films, reversing the order of the first two, for reasons I am about to explain.

Since the films on my list are arranged in order of their release, before the midnight change, I had The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) as #2, and Frankenstein (1931) as #1. But yesterday, when I started watching the 1939 film after half a century of not seeing it, I detected some terrible messages from its opening.

It didn’t take me long to discover that the director was born into a German family of Ashkenazi Jews and that he even returned to Germany after the Allied dogs won the war!

Fifty years ago I had seen this 1939 film in black and white with my family on television, and both my sisters and I loved it (some of Hugo’s high culture is reflected in this adulterated version of the novel).

Since then I had not seen it again: I only remember that as a child I was impressed by the story. But yesterday when I started watching it again, after so long, I realised, as I just said, that the movie starts with bad messages.

In Paris, there is a new order preventing the passage of gipsies. True, the director cast mudblood actors to play them, but typically in Hollywood (and we’re talking about 1939!) he artfully chose an Aryan actress to play the gipsy Esmeralda, and has the King of France say ‘Who cares about her race, she’s pretty’.

This 1939 film has scenes too burlesque for my taste today (how I have changed since I saw it fifty years ago!) and the Christian piety in Notre Dame couldn’t be missing: ‘Please, help my people’ says the Nordic actress playing Esmeralda when referring to the mudblood gipsies while the French ask Providence for riches in their prayers. Surrealism reaches the viewer when the movie’s bad guy, Claude Frollo, says ‘You come from an evil race’ to the Aryan actress posing as a gipsy.

I stopped watching the film at that point and started watching the original film of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I mean the one from 1923: a film that, this year, has just turned 100 years old!

Now this is the one that is at #1 on my list not because it is very good, but because it has historical value for connoisseurs of cinematic art. This 1923 film is silent, although they added some music to it and it can now be seen, complete, in a colourised version on YouTube.

Although Esmeralda, in this century-old film, isn’t as Aryan as the other, in this version it is explained at the outset that her whiteness is due to the fact that she was born in a high cradle and, as a child, had been abducted by gipsies.

Naturally, being a hundred years old, the film is closer to theatre or operatic scenes than to the cinema that followed, once the human voice was technically synchronised with the soundtrack. That would revolutionise the Seventh Art.

I don’t want to get too much into the film from the point of view of the sacred words. That would mean messing directly with Victor Hugo—and that would mean another entry: an entry of literary criticism rather than cinematic criticism. Suffice it to say that baby Quasimodo wouldn’t have been allowed to live in Sparta, and that Hugo is right that Notre Dame reflects the soul of France which, unlike the teen I was half a century ago, is no longer the soul that interests me. (My surname, ‘Tort’, comes from France and Catalonia and my ancestors were devoted to Notre Dame of Lourdes.)

7 replies on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

Excellent conlsusion. it is now more than obvious the use of trojan horses in the mass media. Creating what is called cognitive dissonance, in this particular movie the use of an Aryan girl as a dirty gypsy is offensive. This even still applies today, with the Peaky Blinders (TV series), using white casting to portray more gypsies.

This concept can even be extrapolated as the use of an Aryan, blue-eyed jesus to make convincing that disgusting slave ideology is like shit in a fancy, shiny paper wrapper ready to be sold and handed out. I can even say feminism has some of this in it! By placing women in roles with the same physical and intellectual capabilities as men, as if they could actually be rivals with real men. All in order to create a false image and make the unreal believable. Perhaps in order to create confusion in the minds of normies by playing with their perception of reality?

There are a lot of reviews of mine on this site similar to what you say above. It was one of the reasons why I distanced myself from Greg Johnson: he legitimised Hollywood with the reviews of him under the pen name of Trevor Lynch (and a large number of racialists do the same).

Yes, I keep an eye on that aspect. Especially with what you mention in your book: On Beth’s cute tits (haha what a name!) and in your series of reviews of A Song of Ice and Fire. I really don’t tolerate anymore that masculinized image of women as if they can do the same physical effort as a man. As if men and women are interchangeable, feminism is another bad joke taken too far (another illegitimate child of Christian morality? ). A mistake that the boomer generation let grow and mature when it should have been nipped in the bud. Now our generation of men has to deal with hormonal bosses and retarded sluts everywhere. We have been generationally betrayed for at least 3 generations (thanks to our grandpas or grand-grandpas). The awakening will hit hard.

Now our generation of men has to deal with … retarded sluts everywhere.

You can’t imagine the delirious levels of feminism I’ve had to encounter in my family precisely because the darkest hour of the West empowered these little women to exorbitant levels…

Have you watched any Third Reich movies? I’ve seen a few (Wunder des Fliegens immediately comes to my mind, I’m and aviation freak). I can share a link here, if you don’t mind. It would be interesting to hear other people’s opinions and observations about them.

Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough when I talked about the link, it isn’t just about the movie I mentioned.

Here you go: link.

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