Polish Film and the Holocaust: Politics and Memory

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Berghahn Books, 2012 - History - 274 pages
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During World War II Poland lost more than six million people, including about three million Polish Jews who perished in the ghettos and extermination camps built by Nazi Germany in occupied Polish territories. This book is the first to address the representation of the Holocaust in Polish film and does so through a detailed treatment of several films, which the author frames in relation to the political, ideological, and cultural contexts of the times in which they were created. Following the chronological development of Polish Holocaust films, the book begins with two early classics: Wanda Jakubowska's The Last Stage (1948) and Aleksander Ford's Border Street (1949), and next explores the Polish School period, represented by Andrzej Wajda's A Generation (1955) and Andrzej Munk's The Passenger (1963). Between 1965 and 1980 there was an "organized silence" regarding sensitive Polish-Jewish relations resulting in only a few relevant films until the return of democracy in 1989 when an increasing number were made, among them Krzysztof Kieślowski's Decalogue 8 (1988), Andrzej Wajda's Korczak (1990), Jan Jakub Kolski's Keep Away from the Window (2000), and Roman Polański's The Pianist (2002). An important contribution to film studies, this book has wider relevance in addressing the issue of Poland's national memory.


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Geopolitics and Cinema
The Last Stage
Commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Border
Images of the Holocaust during the Polish School Period
Henneberg in White Bear
Years of Organized Forgetting 19651980
The Poor Poles Look at
Korczak 1990 and Holy
Documentary Archaeology of the Holocaust

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About the author (2012)

Marek Haltof is Professor at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. His recent books include the Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema (2007), Australian Cinema: The Screen Construction of Australia (in Polish, 2005), The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieślowski: Variations on Destiny and Chance (2004), and Polish National Cinema (2002).

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