Synopsis by Mark Deming
The American film industry took it upon itself to act as a cheerleader for United States and Allied military interests during World War II, but Hollywood was initially reluctant to directly condemn Nazi anti-Semitism, and it wasn't until years after the war ended that American filmmakers began offering a realistic, dramatic look at the horrible toll of Hitler's "final solution." Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust is a documentary which examines how filmmakers reacted to German scapegoating of Jews before, during, and after the war, ranging from the boldness of Confessions of a Nazi Spy and The Mortal Storm (both of which were produced before America entered the war) to more oblique statements during the war itself, and then finally leading to an honest portrayal of the full consequences of the Holocaust beginning in the '50s. Produced for the cable television network American Movie Classics, Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust was premiered at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.
anti-Semitism, film-industry, filmmaker, Hollywood, Holocaust, honesty, Nazi, realism [school of art], scapegoat