“If the man on the London bus was the impetus for committing to make the film, this man in his prized, hateful jacket validated that commitment.”
What Can We Learn from Films About the Holocaust? with Holocaust Scholar Michael Berenbaum and Screenwriter Michael Berlin
At a time when antisemitism is on the rise and the Holocaust is thrown around as a comparison to many of today’s political and social issues, what can movies about the Holocaust teach us? Holocaust scholar and film producer Michael Berenbaum is in conversation with Michael Berlin, screenwriter and founder of the Jewish Film Festival of Orange County, CA, about the impact of the Holocaust on film and how film plays an important role in transmitting knowledge about the Holocaust to new generations. The conversation commences with the 1940 Academy Award nominated film, The Great Dictator, starring Charlie Chaplin and progress through the decades. This program is hosted by Moment Magazine with the support of the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation.
It’s a rare treat to discover a film that appeals across the generations, but The Crossing is a perfect example. This movie is true family-friendly storytelling. Set in 1942 Norway, during the third year of the German occupation, this is a particularly poignant and uplifting tale of ordinary youngsters rising to the challenge of rescuing Jewish children during a brutal period of history.
“There are 16 million documents in the Vatican waiting to be read. Maybe one day we will get a deeper understanding of the profound moral questions raised in the film about complicity and silence. It is not only Jews who need answers but also Catholics, who must ask themselves why their church failed to uphold Catholic principles of love and mercy. “
Documentary filmmaker Roberta Grossman is obsessed with the Holocaust, always has been. Its ever-present evil—the ultimate “rift in humanity,” she says—just won’t let go. “It’s not that I can’t pull away from it, but rather why others can.” So she asserts on the phone from her home in Los Angeles. Producer Nancy Spielberg (yes, Steven’s sister), with whom Grossman collaborated on the Holocaust documentary Who Will Write Our History, is participating in the conversation from her New York home. Their film, which has already been screened at various festivals worldwide, will make its television debut on the Discovery Channel on January 26 at 3 p.m. The telecast is part of Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations. It’s also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.