Monday, March 20, 2006

It Must be Spring Break...

I had time to sit and watch a movie! Well, actually, I didn't, but it was from 1947, black and white, and certainly educational, so I think it was acceptable.

Fascinating. I'm taking a class this semester on history and film in the 1930s in the US, USSR, and Nazi Germany, so I've gotten to analyzing old films quite a bit. So when my sister asked me if I wanted to watch Gentlemen's Agreement (1947) with her, I was pretty interested.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the movie, but as soon as it was over, I felt that I had to research it a bit-to find out the film stats. on it, see how popular audiences thought about it, etc.

In short, the plot: A journalist goes "undercover" by claiming he is a Jew so that he can do an article on anti-semitism.

What struck me most about this film was the depth that it actually went into exploring the idea of hatred. True, the Jewish theme could have been replaced by an African American theme, or an Irish theme (depending on the period), but it was, imho, pretty honest. It discussed self-hating Jews and the real loud WASPS who call them names, but it also talked about subtle anti-semitism that existed in the 40's - not selling houses to Jews, not allowing them into country clubs...'twas interesting. The most crucial point that it mentioned, however, was complacency - how it's not enough just to get mad about something and talk about it. You have to do something to show that you care, or else all you say is, literally, just talk.

It wasn't the best film I've ever seen (although it won three Oscars-best film, best director, and best supporting actress), but it was quite thought-provoking.

Has anyone else seen it?

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