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Jewish Experience on Film: An American Overview

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Publication Date: January 1996

Publisher(s): American Jewish Committee

Author(s): Joel Rosenberg

Series: American Jewish Year Book vol.96 (1996), pp.3-50

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Media, telecommunications, and information (Film and video)

Keywords: Social Problems; Assimilation; Jewish Identification; Film

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The author considers how the Jewish experience has been portrayed on film in the 20th century. He argues that the presence of the Jew in film needs to be rethought in the context of cinema history as a whole and set against the major crises and disasters of the 20th century, especially the Holocaust. He explores the Jewish experience on film in America in terms of its systematic connections to the unfolding of 20th-century history, to the development of the film medium itself, and to the broader problems of race, class, nation, and ethnicity in modern times. Suggestions are also provided for the future of Jewish film research.