HC434H/421H: Screening the Holocaust

Professor: Monique Balbuena

4.00 credits

  • CRN 21095: Tuesday & Thursday, 1000-1150 @ VIL 101

Graduation Requirement: This class will fulfill an Arts & Letters Colloquium and a Global Perspectives (GP) area of inquiry requirement.  If the student has already taken an Arts & Letters Colloquium, this class will fulfill both of the following requirements:  an Elective Colloquium and a GP area of inquiry.

Even before the end of WWII cinema had already begun to depict the violence and fascism coming out of Nazi Germany. Following the liberation of the camps, documentarians sought to represent the reality they encountered. Since then scores of documentaries and fiction films have attempted to capture the physical horrors of the Holocaust and understand how such actions could have happened. There are ongoing efforts to  record the testimonies of witnesses. Films continue to be made,  representing both the experiences of survivors years after their ordeals and the ways in which trauma has affected the second and third generation of survivors and perpetrators alike. While exploring the roles of perpetrators, bystanders and survivors, films also reflect the contexts in which they are made, as well as local attitudes to the war and the Holocaust.

This course will consider the ways in which cinematic interventions affect our understanding of the Holocaust. We will watch different genres, including documentaries, testimony, comedy, drama, musicals, and action-adventure films. We will study films from different locations, including the UK, the US, Israel, Poland, Hungary, Italy and, possibly, the USSR. We will explore the role of Hollywood in shaping visual imagery, and the role of both popular and artistic filmmaking.