During the “Golden Age” of Weimar cinema, films captured the public’s imagination and became a form of entertainment affordable to all. The people of this industry were both artists and businessmen – they had the urge and the talent to produce creative content, while always looking for a winning commercial formula. This era came to an end when the Nazis rose to power. During the political upheavals of the Republic’s final years, the industry began to decline because of the drain in talent to other European countries and Hollywood. In addition, many of the era’s most significant filmmakers were Jewish and were subsequently banned from working, jailed, forced into exile, and in a number of instances killed.
Nivelli was fortunate to be part of this new and exciting industry in its heyday. His work resonated all that was Weimar cinema – enthusiasm for the new art-form, mixed with an ambition for success and financial gain. Furthermore, cinema was the medium through which he promoted his ideals and demonstrated his creativity and talent. His sudden death in 1926, after only 10 years in the business, leaves us wondering about the direction to which his talent would have taken him, had he lived longer.
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