IMAGINARY WITNESS: HOLLYWOOD AND THE HOLOCAUST
For an uncompromising evil, the Holocaust has had a complex effect on Hollywood, as the industry struggled to balance what one historian calls "the need to understand and the desire to forget."
As Hitler's power swelled, the studios watched in silent fear-their feelings tangled with finances as they needed ticket sales. Additionally, the Production Code mandated a politeness that limited the studios to white-gloved newsreels snickering at book burning. It took decades to peel those gloves off, and further decades still to advance from THE PAWNBROKER's grace to the inexorable carnage of HOLOCAUST, which brought cameras inside the horrors of the gas chambers.
Narrated by Gene Hackman, Daniel Anker's exhaustive and masterfully-edited documentary is built of a vast compendium of clips of SCHINDLER'S UST, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE GREAT DICTATOR and CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY, matched only by his myriad interviews, including Sidney Lumet, Rad Steiger, Neal Gabler and Steven Spielberg.