It is one of the most astonishing facts of cinema history: an extraordinary number of important films are believed to be lost forever. Spanning from the early days of the silent movies to as late as the 1970s and touching all corners of the global film experience, groundbreaking works of significant historical and artistic importance are gone. Cinema icons including Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Oscar Micheaux and Vincente Minnelli are among those impacted by this tragedy, and pioneering technological achievements in color cinematography, sound film technology, animation and widescreen projection are among the lost treasures.
How could this happen? And is it possible to recover these missing gems?