LOS ANGELES, CA, July 8, 2003 – As Hitler rose to power in Germany, the film community in America seemed very far away. Though many powerful Hollywood players were Jewish, the Third Reich continued to have strong financial ties to America and exerted enough influence to prevent those most capable of revealing the increasingly desperate situation in Europe from doing so. But when at last Nazi atrocities came to light, Hollywood remained frozen by a complicated web of ambivalence, business considerations, and the challenge of portraying something so drastically outside the realm of human experience. Over the years, movies and television have portrayed the Holocaust in many moving, powerful films, from THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK to SOPHIE’S CHOICE to SCHINDLER’S LIST.
AMC tracks the industry’s extraordinary response to the Holocaust as both society and Holocaust survivors began to reflect on these events in a compelling new 90-minute documentary, THE AMC PROJECT: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST, premiering on Tuesday, October 7 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
In complex and contradictory ways, American movies have shaped and reflected the history and memory of the extraordinary tragedy of the Holocaust. The film medium itself holds a great potential for portraying an event with so many sides to it, and arguably an experience that can only be understood by those who survived it.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST features candid interviews with directors Steven Spielberg and Sidney Lumet, as well as Holocaust writer/lecturer Michael Berenbaum, Dan Curtis (director, WAR AND REMEMBRANCE), historian Neal Gabler, Blacklisted writer Norma Barzman, Vincent Sherman (director, UNDERGROUND) and Holocaust film scholar Annette Innsdorf. The original special also showcases extraordinary catalogue of footage from newsreels and films through the decades including SCHINDLER’S LIST, SOPHIE’S CHOICE, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, and lesser known films like CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY, THE BLACK LEGION and the TV miniseries HOLOCAUST and WAR AND REMEMBRANCE.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST travels back in time to when Charlie Chaplin first used the word “Jew” in his self-financed Hitler satire THE GREAT DICTATOR, through the war years when Eisenhower brought Hollywood moguls to the liberated concentration camps, to the odd silence in the 1950s and early ’60s. Finally, as personal expression began to overcome censorship and strict commercial codes, the truth of the Holocaust began to emerge in films like Sidney Lumet’s THE PAWNBROKER. When those most deeply affected by the events – the survivors themselves – began to speak, Hollywood’s artistic community responded, with profound personal statements such as SOPHIE’S CHOICE, SCHINDLER’S LIST and others.
The special will air as part of AMC’s ongoing documentary showcase, THE AMC PROJECT, a monthly experimental series that provides fresh, unconventional perspectives on the evolution and impact of Hollywood culture. “
THE AMC PROJECT: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST is executive produced by Danny Anker of Anker Productions.
AMC is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 84,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and an increasingly visible, critically- acclaimed, slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. Over the past three years AMC has garnered many of the industry’s highest honors, including eight Emmy awards. AMC is “TV for movie people.”
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