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The Easy Answers of Holocaust Movies

Too many films set in the Holocaust permit the audience to feel morally superior. Wouldn’t it be better to tell a story about current anti-Semitism?

From Jerry Lewis’ unreleased clown-Holocaust movie The Day the Clown Cried, 1972.

From Jerry Lewis’ unreleased clown-Holocaust movie The Day the Clown Cried, 1972.

Response
March 24 2016
About the author

Jonathan Leaf is a playwright and journalist living in New York.


There’s an old adage that the best movies are adapted from bad novels. As evidence to support the claim, consider Jaws—and then think of the many inferior films made from The Great Gatsby. Motion pictures excel at telling stories and at rendering heaps of quotidian detail. They struggle, usually in vain, to suggest the thoughts of a character.

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More about: Arts & Culture, Holocaust, Movies, Son of Saul