Cinema Judaica: Changing Public Sentiment (1)

Posted on June 1st, 2015 by

The United States’ entry into World War II can seem inevitable to us today, but in the late 1930s it was far from a foregone conclusion. Public sentiment was strongly isolationist, and official censors suppressed anti-fascist statements in the movies. Anti-Nazi films, such as Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), and patriotic stories of our involvement in past wars, such as Sergeant York (1941), made it past the censors to present their argument directly to the American public: atrocities were being committed in Europe, and the U.S. had the strength to fight – and to win.

Confessions of a Nazi Spy

The Mortal Storm

After Mein Kampf? The Story of Adolf Hitler (short film)


After Mein Kampf-? • The Story of Adolf Hitler… by 1tommypeters1

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Cinema Judaica: Contemporary Subjects (6)

Posted on June 1st, 2015 by

Many films – both American and Israeli – took on the contemporary subjects of modern anti-Semitism and the founding and early days of Israel.   Both topics provided scope for traditional thrillers and war movies, but with serious messages beneath the action.  Films like Exodus (1960) helped to spread awareness of and support for Israel’s struggle for independence, while others, like I Accuse! (1958) and The Young Lions (1958), told cautionary tales of discrimination and anti-Semitism.

Cast a Giant Shadow

The Young Lions

Exodus

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Cinema Judaica: Raising Morale (2)

Posted on June 1st, 2015 by

After war was declared in December of 1941, Hollywood worked hard to raise audience morale, and to maintain public support for the war effort. Movies like the Oscar-winning short The House I Live In (1945) aimed to foster a spirit of American diversity and inclusion, while a number of thrillers – and even some comedies – used stories set in Europe to portray, and condemn, the actions of the Nazi party and other fascist regimes.

Hotel Berlin – original trailer

To Be or Not To Be – clip

Address Unknown – clip

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