Nathan the Wise (film)

Nathan the Wise (German: Nathan der Weise) is a 1922 German silent historical film directed by Manfred Noa and starring Fritz Greiner, Carl de Vogt and Lia Eibenschütz. It is based on the 1779 play Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. It was made by Bavaria Film at the Emelka Studios. The film provoked protests in Munich from far-right groups who felt it was too pro-Jewish.[1]

Nathan the Wise
Directed byManfred Noa
Produced byErich Wagowski
Written by
Distributed byBavaria Film
Release date
  • 29 December 1922 (1922-12-29)
Running time
128 minutes

In 2010 oud player and composer Rabih Abou-Khalil released a soundtrack composed for the film entitled Trouble in Jerusalem.[2]


One of the main works of the Age of Enlightenment, it is a powerful plea for tolerance, humanity and freedom of opinion. Set in the age of the crusades, it deals with the relations between the three monotheistic religions. Characters include the historical figure of Sultan Saladin, and the Jewish merchant Nathan; the character of Nathan is based on Lessig’s friend, the renowned philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. When the play was published in 1779, this was considered breaching a taboo.



  1. Prawer p. 20
  2. Vasan, V.. Rabih Abou-Khalil: Trouble in Jerusalem – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved June 21, 2018.


  • Prawer, Siegbert Salomon (2007) [2005]. Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910–1933. Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-84545-303-9.
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