De-simplifying the Holocaust : representation and the Nazi genocide in contemporary film / by Dave Armstrong.
Prior to the last decade, form and content in Holocaust storytelling—based a perceived sense of historical uniqueness—was held to simpler standards than other historical referents. This heightened sensitivity escalated in response to Hayden White's explanation of history's fictional qualities—and a concomitant “relativism” said to have ensued from it. However, oversimplification of the Holocaust is problematic because it neither reflects the reality of the events, nor does it make for particularly interesting stories. Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful (1998) subverts “Holocaust etiquette” in terms of what is deemed to be an appropriate genre for Holocaust representation. Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone (2001) confounds dyadic conceptions of Good and Evil by de-simplifying the victim-oppressor binary in the concentration camp setting. Henry Bean's The Believer (2001) de-simplifies notions of a static, post-Holocaust, Jewish identity. The three films represent a de-simplifying shift in Holocaust representation.
Record last modified: 2018-04-24 16:01:00
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