Difficult New Beginnings
What was the work situation for the expulsed filmmakers in their countries of exile?
First of all the directors, writers, composers, production designers, actors, everyone who had to search for a job in their profession abroad were seen as additional and therefore not necessarily welcome competitors. For every artist who managed to find success again, one should not forget that a far greater number of them were only able to find work under the most difficult conditions or had to break into another profession or else didn't find any work at all.
The situation was different for each artist and for each profession. It might have been somewhat easier for composers to continue working, because they could express themselves in the universal language of music. For writers, though, exile often meant the need to make the country's language their own. For example, someone like Emmerich Preßburger – who had scripted some of the most brilliant films in the Weimar Republic, had at first a lot of trouble in England, and it took him a long time before he felt comfortable with the English language. But then, in 1943, under the name Emeric Pressburger, he founded the production company The Archers together with Michael Powell and became one of the greatest scriptwriters of British cinema. Language could also be a big obstacle for actors. Directors, who didn't have to express themselves in front of the camera, usually had less difficulties.