2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the WWII's end and the beginning of the general public's awareness of Holocaust atrocities. This book offers an important look at Hollywood's ongoing representations of the Holocaust aimed at a general readership not usually addressed by volumes on this subject. This book is a study of the portrayal of the Holocaust in Hollywood films from the World War II era to the present. It includes chapters on thirty films, arranged chronologically, beginning in 1940 with Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator and concluding with Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds.
The book's introduction provides an initial discussion of Hollywood Holocaust movies and their enormous influence on public perceptions of the Shoah; what standards should be adopted to judge such movies; and whether Hollywood, given its commercial focus, is capable of depicting the Holocaust accurately. The book also considers whether comedy can be an effective method of portraying the Holocaust and examines the American public's ongoing fascination with the Holocaust and other related issues.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 626 g
Dimensions: 238 x 158 x 23 mm
Gonshak is responsible in debating his predecessor critics and eloquent in meditating on the ethical responsibilities of those who produce Hollywood films. Even though Gonshak is flexible in his aesthetics-comedy can work, historical accuracy is not necessarily required-most Hollywood films (which here include X-Men, 2000) do not have anything substantial to say about the Holocaust. Hollywood veers too often toward kitsch, and in his conclusion the author expresses the wish that Hollywood could learn from the more substantial Holocaust documentaries and fiction films produced in Europe. Insdorf discussed both Hollywood and European films, which ultimately makes for a more satisfying project. Yet Gonshak's selection allows each film more depth, and he takes full advantage of this opportunity by staging one scrupulously crafted discussion after another.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE *
Hollywood and the Holocaust offers an important look at Hollywood's ongoing representations of the Holocaust aimed at a general readership not usually addressed by volumes on this subject. * Dillon Tribune *
By what standards should we judge films about the Holocaust? That's the provocative question that hangs over Hollywood and the Holocaust by Henry Gonshak, an English professor at Montana Tech.
In examining older films, Gonshak rightly puts them in the context of their times. . . . In joining the growing shelf of books on the subject of the Holocaust and movies, Gonshak offers some insights as to how far we've come. * The Jewish Advocate *