Presentation on theme: "TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST THROUGH FILM"— Presentation transcript:
1 TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST THROUGH FILM Eleanor AndrewsUniversity of Wolverhampton
2 Teaching about the Holocaust Advance knowledge about this unprecedented destructionPreserve the memory of those who sufferedEncourage educators and students to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by the events of the Holocaust and as they apply in today’s worldITF website
3 Using FilmFilm gives us plenitude without specificity. Its descriptive offerings are at once visually rich and verbally impoverished. […] literary narrative can be precise, but always within a narrow scope’ Chatman 1990: 39-40, Original italics
4 Facts and Figures To date 400+ films on the Holocaust 40% are feature films60% are cinema and television documentaries
5 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Vittorio De Sica, 1970)
8 PropagandaTriumph of the WillLeni Riefenstahl, 1935
9 PropagandaJud Süß (Jew Süss) Veit Harlan, 1940 Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) Fritz Hippler, 1940
10 Holocaust Films - Problems On the surface, realism is a reasonable requirement for art that deals with history, especially with an event as extreme as the Holocaust. The imperative never to forget, made more urgent by the growing problems of Holocaust denial and Holocaust minimization, requires that alterations to Holocaust art be carefully scrutinized to ensure that they do not propagate injurious ideas Gefen Bar-on, 2005: 180
11 Holocaust Films - Problems If the purpose of Holocaust witness is dynamic transmission – the passing on of the testimony in a way that invests its receivers with the moral obligation to convey their knowledge to others – then the narrative must remain open to constant elaboration, adaptation, and re-articulation in ways that will recommend it to new generations of listenersMillicent Marcus, 2002: 269
12 Shoah Claude Lanzmann 1985SurvivorBystanderPerpetrator
18 Schindler’s List (1993) Steven Spielberg It can’t quite match the searing authenticity of a true documentary like Shoah or Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog, and it can’t completely win us over with its artistry, as Louis Malle does in the lower-key Au Revoir les Enfants. But what it can do, it does superlatively well. [...] As a contribution to popular culture, it can only do good. Holocaust denial may or may not be a major problem in future, but Holocaust ignorance, Holocaust forgetfulness, and Holocaust indifference are bound to be, and Schindler’s List is likely to do as much as any single work can to dispel them.John Gross (1994) The New York Review of Books
24 Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) What are the main themes of Life is Beautiful? How are the family / women / the Nazis represented in La vita è bella? How does Benigni succeed in dealing comically with such a serious subject?
25 Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) How does he point out the fallacies of the anti-Semitic regime? Examine the function of the character Dr. Lessing. What is the purpose of the voice-over?
26 Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) How are the real horrors of the camp understood by the audience? Comment on Benigni’s use of language in the film. Comment on the use of patterns and repetitions in this film. How do the jokes work?
27 Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) Where is the turning point of the film? How do we see this? How does the first half of the film differ visually from the second half? Examine the relationship between Guido and Giosuè. How is life in the concentration camp portrayed? Is the tone of the film pessimistic or optimistic and why do you think this?