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Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust

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There is grave insight throughout this overview of the Holocaust’s depiction by Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin, amid the scandalous satire of The Great Dictator, was the first filmmaker to portray the Third Reich’s anti-Semitism, and most Americans were introduced to the horrors of the death camps by television — e.g., a so-remarkable-it’s-surreal episode of This Is Your Life. Moving on through The Pawnbroker and Schindler’s List, Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust reveals how even the darkest history now lodges itself in our heads via pop culture — a truth both liberating and sobering. B+

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