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December 15, 2008


Great piece, Nick.

Things have gotten pretty bad indeed when the Holocaust becomes just one more choice of material for Hollywood award-bait. I haven't seen most of the Nov.-Dec. WWII releases (and I refuse to see The Reader which looks like the most offensive of the lot), but having viewed The Boy in the Striped Pajamas along with the earlier, inexplicably praised A Secret, I've about had it with films that reduce the Holocaust to the stuff of tasteful "prestige" filmmaking - making sure that the depiction of the death camps doesn't unduly upset their audiences, while still giving them the expected emotional payoff they expect from "quality" cinema. All you can really do is laugh.

I don't know if you've seen it, but Stuart Klawans recently published a piece calling for a moratorium on Holocaust films, in which he dissects the dubious "benefits" that these films are supposed to offer.

Thanks, Andrew.

I fortunately missed "A Secret," since I don't think I would have been able to stand more Holocaust drama. But yeah, the knee-jerk use of the Holocaust by supposedly respectable filmmakers to bump up the prestige of their awards-bait has gotten pretty intolerable.

On your suggestion, I just checked out the Klawans piece. Really good stuff. Couldn't agree more.

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