From Nuremberg to Hollywood
The Holocaust and the Courtroom in American Fictive Film
James Jordan, University of Southampton
• Cultural history of how American film has consistently utilised the courtroom in its attempts to represent and understand the horror of the Holocaust
• Uses case studies from 1944–2008 to question the ever-changing relationship between testimony, history, memory, truth and film
This transformative book is the first to explore the evolving relationship between the act of bearing witness to the Holocaust in the courtroom, and how that is perceived and imagined by American film. It transforms the discipline by providing a cultural history of the intersection of the courtroom and the Holocaust in American film from 1944–2008, and deconstructs the accepted notion of the Holocaust as being an event at the limits of the imagination.
This book is divided into two sections that are delimited by the two real-life courtroom proceedings which have had the greatest influence on American film’s representation of the Holocaust: the Nuremberg Trials 1945–46 and the Eichmann trial in 1961. The methodology is to evaluate the filmic trials by comparison with the real-life trials on which they are based, and then to place these films and trials within their broader social context.
The author asks questions of the spectator both on and off screen: How does one witness such events and then how does one bear witness in the form of a credible narrative? How is this presented on-screen? In doing so, he seeks to understand how one of the most horrific and chaotic of events of the twentieth century is contained and controlled by the strict demands of the courtroom and the courtroom genre.
August 2021 220 pages
Paperback: 978 1 912676 89 7 £25.00
Ebook: 978 0 85303 866 5 £50.00