After we watched the documentaries about the Holocaust, I was curious about the different ways the general public views or is educated about this horrific event. Personally, I have seen a few films that deal with the holocaust, some as documentaries, some as Hollywood films. Like any movie, there is usually a general message that the audience gains after viewing the film. Even after we watched the wordless, sometimes even silent film by Alfred Hitchcock, I still gained a different perspective or feeling toward the holocaust, that I did not have before.
I thought it was interesting that a film that is using reels of footage, with no words spoken can have a very powerful impact on a person. It made me think of all of the various styles of films that portray the story of the holocaust, and how even today, there are big Hollywood movies being made to show the history of that time.
The question that I am asking is, can a person become educated through a hollywood film of the holocaust? Or, should a person be referring to only documentaries, like the Alfred Hitchcock film, we viewed in class? In a history class, we are debating this very issue; Do Hollywood filmmakers have a responsibility to create a fully accurate and authentic film about the holocaust? Since Hollywood firms often mix fact and fiction, some are quick to criticize the true history behind the movie.
In an article, Good Germans and Uplifting Uprisings: Hollywood’s take on the Holocaust, Ben Crair analyzes all of the past and very recent films that share the central theme of the holocaust. Just in the last year, there have been several movies that attempt to tell the history in different ways of the event. For instance, there was, The Reader, Valkyrie, Defiance, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Good, and Adam Resurrected. Although they all share the same theme, do they all send a powerful message about the holocaust, the same way Alfred Hitchcock’s documentary did?
The documentary by Hitchcock, was so drastically different than any other film or documentary I’ve seen, and somehow it made more of an impact on me, than any other film. I believe that the lack of dialogue forced me to think about the images more in depth. Even though there was a narrator, most of the time, I was reflecting on what I saw, and was able to take it in on a deeper level.