22 May 2019

Nur ein Schmetterling (1918)

Hella Moja starred in the German silent film Nur ein Schmetterling/Only a Butterfly (Iwa Raffay, 1918). Her own film company, Hella-Moja-Film, produced the film. Rotophot published a series of five sepia postcards of the film in their Film Sterne series, of which we cound find only four. We'll keep looking!

Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 543/1. Photo: Hella-Moja-Film. Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling/Only a Butterfly (Iwa Raffay, 1918).

Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 543/3. Photo: Hella-Moja-Film. Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling/Only a Butterfly (Iwa Raffay, 1918).

Countess or Damsel


Little is known about Nur ein Schmetterling/Only a Butterfly (Iwa Raffay, 1918). IMDb mentions that Iva (other sources write Iwa) Raffay was both director and scriptwriter, and that the cast also included Alfred Abel, Karl Falkenberg, Josef Ewald and Ernst Hofmann. We did not recognise them on the postcards.

Hella Moja was only 22 at the time. Since 1915, she had worked for pioneer studios like Messter, Union and Terra-Film, and had excelled in short silent melodramas like Die weiße Rose/The White Rose (Franz Hofer, 1915) opposite Erna Morena, Der Schwur der Renate Rabenau/The Vow of Renate Rabenau (Otto Rippert, 1916), Der Fremde/The Stranger (Otto Rippert, 1917) with Werner Krauss and Das verwunschene Schloss/The Enchanted Castle (Otto Rippert, 1918) again with Krauss.

In her films Hella Moja often played a countess or a damsel. With success. There was a Hella Moja serial, and in 1918 she could found her own film company, the Hella Moja Filmgesellschaft, in Berlin. Nur ein Schmetterling was the third production of her film company. 13 more films would follow until 1923. From then on her acting style was seen as old-fashioned and she started to focus on script-writing.

IMDb also mentions that Nur ein Schmetterling premiered in June 1918. So, the First World War or the Great War, was still going on. Germany was falling apart at home. Anti-war marches became frequent and morale in the army fell. In November the war finally ended.


Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 543/4. Photo: Hella-Moja-Film. Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling/Only a Butterfly (Iwa Raffay, 1918).

Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling (1918)
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 543/5. Photo: Hella-Moja-Film. Hella Moja in Nur ein Schmetterling/Only a Butterfly (Iwa Raffay, 1918).

Sources: Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

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