AUDIENCE AWARD, BEST DOCUMENTARY Hamptons International Film Festival
SPECIAL JURY AWARD Florida International Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY Festival de Cinema Judaico de Sao Paulo


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AFI-Fest Film Festival
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New York Jewish Film Festival
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Why was Hollywood so slow to respond to Hitler's rise to power and the persecution and murder of Jews? And why, for nearly two decades after WWII, were there few signs of the Holocaust in American films?

Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning director Daniel Anker and a stellar group of interviewees, including Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg, Michael Berenbaum, Robert Clary, Neal Gabler, Annette Insdorf, Branko Lustig, Sharon Pucker Rivo, and Rod Steiger, investigate how—driven by commercial, political, and social interests—Hollywood all by abdicated its responsibility to condemn Nazi anti-semitism prior to and during WWII.

This important film also explores why it took decades after the war for American filmmakers to treat the subject of Hitler's "final solution,” and how the Holocaust was portrayed once Hollywood finally began to depict the unimaginable.

Narrated by Gene Hackman, this beautifully-made film includes period newsreels and clips from over 40 fiction films, including Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), The Mortal Storm (1940), The Great Dictator (1940), Singing in the Dark (1956), Diary of Anne Frank (1959), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Ship of Fools (1965), The Pawnbroker (1965), The Holocaust (1978), War and Remembrance (1988) TV mini-series, Sophie’s Choice (1982), The Producers (1968), Cabaret (1972), Schindler's List (1993), and The Pianist (2002).


"A devastating, impressively reflective documentary"
- New York Times

"A meticulously argued piece of work that illuminates not just the Holocaust, but the modern imagination's attempt to process it."
- Newark Star-Ledger

"Reduced me to tears... A powerful documentary that examines how a movie industry that ordinarily traffics in fantasy has dealt with the hideous reality of Hitler's genocidal campaign against the Jews"
- New York Newsday

"Director Daniel Anker evenhandedly....and skillfully addresses the question of what, for a community whose raison d'etre is creating entertainment, is the appropriate reaction to such horrific events."
- Los Angeles Times


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Imaginary Witness:
Hollywood and the Holocaust

USA, 2004, 92 minutes, color
Directed by Daniel Anker

DVD Currently Unavailable

Public Exhibition Beta Rental available





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