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Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004)

The history of Hollywood's handling of the Nazis and its later depiction of the Holocaust they perpetrated.

Director:

Daniel Anker
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Gene Hackman ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norma Barzman Norma Barzman ... Herself
Jack Benny ... (archive footage)
Michael Berenbaum Michael Berenbaum ... Himself
Robert Berger Robert Berger ... Himself
Humphrey Bogart ... (archive footage)
Tom Brokaw ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
LeVar Burton ... (archive footage)
James Cagney ... (archive footage)
Charles Chaplin ... (archive footage)
Robert Clary ... Himself
Montgomery Clift ... (archive footage)
Bud Cort ... (archive footage)
Dan Curtis Dan Curtis ... Himself
Michael Dunn ... (archive footage)
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Storyline

Of recent historical events, few events have been so searing, and thus so difficult to depict faithfully both in nature and scope in film, than the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis. This film tells the story of Hollywood's approach to the subject, starting with its initial pre-war reluctance to alienate the lucrative German market. With World War II, and the discovery of the Nazi horrors, we follow Hollywood's reaction over the decades to the atrocity. Challenged with a tragedy that beggared the imagination of artists and audiences, Hollywood grew from trying to keep it in the abstract to striving to depict it head-on in ways that would be both truthful and respectful with the proper humanity. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fantastikos martyras: To Hollywood kai to Olokaftoma See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,880, 30 December 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,507, 27 April 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anker Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: For over a half a century Hollywood films have dealt with Nazism and the Holocaust in complex and often contradictory ways. Marked by outrage and indifference, compassion and ignorance, the need to understand and the desire to forget. And yet while this most horrific chapter in modern world history happened far from America's shores, it has been American movies, perhaps more than any other medium, that have shaped how we understand and remember these events.
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Connections

Features Gentleman's Agreement (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An ineffable experience only understood by those that survived the camps.
6 February 2009 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

An outstanding account of the atrocities that happened in Germany, and Hollywood's dealing with in in light of the makeup of Hollywood, the acceptable mores of the times, the House Un-American witch hunt, and other factors.

It was interesting that television led the way in presenting the Holocaust with a guest on "This is Your Life" being the first instance. After a weak Anne Frank movie, TV returns with Judgement at Nuremberg on "Playhouse 90" in 1959. The fact that one of the sponsors was The American Gas Company muted the effort.

But, Hollywood soon began to get it right. It was after The Holocaust, an 8 hour miniseries was aired and survivors began telling their stories.

How Hollywood handled this tragic part of history is an interesting story and part of a body of knowledge that will help in viewing these films.


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