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National Museum of American Jewish HistoryCost:
4 Classes- $125Location:
101 Independence Mall East
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Conscientious Objectors: Post-War Political Films every Tuesday
February 26, 2013 10:30 AM-1:30 PM
Racism, anti-Semitism, corruption, and political oppression are not just problems that plagued our nation in the 1950s -- they are issues that Hollywood addressed in some of its best work of the era.
These political films, coming in the relatively comfortable period following World War II, had the luxury of once again taking on domestic social problems after the industry spent years focusing on the more immediate threats abroad. But filmmakers with controversial political viewpoints needed to tread lightly in this time of HUAC, Joseph McCarthy, and the emerging Soviet threat. As a result, much of the era's cinematic activism was aimed at slightly off-center—yet clearly analogous—targets.
This course examines Edward Dmytryk’s noirish Crossfire (1947), Richard Brooks’s gritty Blackboard Jungle (1955), as well as Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954) and A Face in the Crowd (1957), to consider the factors surrounding the translation of individual social consciousness into mainstream entertainment. Gaining a better understanding of these ideas opens up new cultural and historical avenues to the appreciation of cinema from any era.
Instructor: Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education, BMFI.
This 4-week class begins February 5 and meets at the Museum on Tuesdays.