Thursday, January 22, 2015

New York Jewish Film Festival Spotlight: Forbidden Films

I’m excited to cover a few selections from the 24th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival, which runs from January 14th-29th.

Forbidden Films
Directed by Felix Moeller
Screening January 22 at 3:15pm and January 25 at 3:30pm

This documentary is all about film, specifically all of the propaganda films that made up German cinema in the 1930s and 1940s, many of which remain banned today. This is a detailed examination of what propaganda is and whether it should be shown and seen for educational and cultural purposes. The types of films, such as anti-British, anti-French, anti-Semitic, and a number of others, are featured, and brief clips of each illustrate exactly what their content was. Looking at these films is only part of this film’s greater conversation, which polls moviegoers and intellectuals alike about the dangers of showing those films that require context in order to be appreciated and not disseminate and further spread hate. The enthusiasm that Hitler and Goebbels had for film is conveyed as is the influential nature of the medium. No clear consensus emerges, but a handful of knowledgeable and man-on-the-street opinions prove very thought-provoking in this enlightening and informative documentary.

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