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Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004)

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

25 December 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fantastikos martyras: To Hollywood kai to Olokaftoma  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,880, 30 December 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,507, 27 April 2008
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

An excellent documentary!
16 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

I am perplexed that this documentary has not reached more people. And I am equally confused as to why the IMDb "weighted" rating is below 6 when only TWO people gave it less than a 6! Does this make sense????? Will IMDb publish this review? Anyway, this is an expertly made documentary on Hollywood, not just how they handled one topic, but how they are embroiled in current politics. There will be some surprises to some moviegoers and clips from some relatively unknown gems, some of which I have never seen and will now seek out! I am a big fan of Gene Hackman but I think his narration was a little lackluster. Otherwise, I have to give this documentary a big thumbs up.

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