The Dumb Girl of Portici
directed by Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley
This 1916 silent film starring Anna Pavlova was recently restored and released on DVD with a new score by composer John Sweeney. Pavlova portrays Fenella, a poor, mute girl living in mid-17th-century Naples during the Spanish occupation, who is seduced and abandoned by a Spanish nobleman. This betrayal, along with the oppression of the Neapolitan people, inspire her brother to foment a revolution. Bonus features include The Immortal Swan, the 1935 feature documentary by Pavlova’s partner Victor D’Andre, and Pavlova’s 9.5-millimeter home movies.