Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST

Year: 2004
Country: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 90 minutes

Hollywood?s relationship with the Holocaust is far deeper and older than ?Schindler?s List.? From the industry?s shameful negligence in the 1930s as the Nazi machine revved up to the first images gathered at the camps to ultra-real films that define how the world visualizes Auschwitz and Dachau today, Hollywood has been extremely influential one way or another. In this revealing documentary on the history of image-making pertaining to the Holocaust, Hollywood takes a few hits before it becomes a hero. In footage from films in the 1930s, 40s and beyond ? Charlie Chaplin playing Hitler in ?The Great Dictator? is a stand-out ? the film details the complicated, propagandistic use of images that America wasn?t quite ready for. A noted scene is Eisenhower?s order to send 12 studio moguls to shoot footage of the camps just after liberation. Most ironic is the fact that many young Germans first learned of the Holocaust from the American mini-series of the same name. Guilt and time made Hollywood define and refine the images that should not be forgotten, to ?balance the need to understand and the desire to forget.?

Director
Daniel Anker

Producer
Daniel Anker, Ellin Baumel

Cinematography
Tom Hurwitz, Nancy Schreiber, Dyanna Taylor

Editing
Bruce Shaw

Principal Cast
Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg, Branko Lustig, Gene Reynolds, George Stevens Jr. Rod Steiger, Vincent Sherman, Annette Insdorf

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