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Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004)

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The history of Hollywood's handling of the Nazis and its later depiction of the Holocaust they perpetrated.


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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norma Barzman ...
(archive footage)
Michael Berenbaum ...
Robert Berger ...
(archive footage)
Himself (voice) (archive footage)
(archive footage)
(archive footage)
(archive footage)
(archive footage)
(archive footage)
Dan Curtis ...
(archive footage)


Of recent historical events, few events have been so searing, and thus so difficult to depict faithfully both in nature and scope in film, than the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis. This film tells the story of Hollywood's approach to the subject, starting with its initial pre-war reluctance to alienate the lucrative German market. With World War II, and the discovery of the Nazi horrors, we follow Hollywood's reaction over the decades to the atrocity. Challenged with a tragedy that beggared the imagination of artists and audiences, Hollywood grew from trying to keep it in the abstract to striving to depict it head-on in ways that would be both truthful and respectful with the proper humanity. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

25 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantastikos martyras: To Hollywood kai to Olokaftoma  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,880 (USA) (28 December 2007)


$21,507 (USA) (25 April 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Narrator: For over a half a century Hollywood films have dealt with Nazism and the Holocaust in complex and often contradictory ways. Marked by outrage and indifference, compassion and ignorance, the need to understand and the desire to forget. And yet while this most horrific chapter in modern world history happened far from America's shores, it has been American movies, perhaps more than any other medium, that have shaped how we understand and remember these events.
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User Reviews

a piece for school, a film study that open eyes
20 February 2005 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

A great review of what Hollywood needed to do -and whatnot- to expose Nazi Germany's intentions... It is a well-documented film with great interviews and original footage to prove that cinema can be used for either wrong or right purposes... This one, it is for the right mission: illustrate how coward was US witnessing what Hitler was doing against the Judaism... Nevermore, please! And even though some raw footage is missing when US troops discovered the death camps, the narration accomplished the feelings of those who watched back then... Hopefully Michael Moore sees this documentary to make him to shift their style of film documenting, where serious stuff can be covered straight forward, without all the comic gimmicks he used to abuse them on his films...

16 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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