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February 2011, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:13:01 -0800
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Joshua Hirsch <[log in to unmask]>
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This is a topic I deal with in my book Afterimage: Film, Trauma, and the Holocaust.  The book contains a chapter on 3 films by Istvan Szabo: Father, Love Film, and 25 Fireman Street.  It also contains a section on Rea Tajiri's History and Memory, which deals with the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2.
Some other films referenced are Abraham Ravett's Half Sister (1985), Everything's For You (1989), In Memory (1997), and The March (1999); Lang ist der Veg (1948, co-written and with an un-credited co-directing credit by Israel Becker); The Two Of Us (France, 1966, Claude Berri); Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (US, 1971, Jonas Mekas); Les Violons du bal (France, 1973, Michel Drach); 1942 (France, 1975, Simone Boruchowicz); The Fire (Netherlands, 1981, Hedy Honigmann); Return to Poland (US, 1981, Marian Marzynski); The Distance to Nearby (Netherlands, 1982, Barbara Meter); Sarah (Australia, 1982, Yoram Gross); The Revolt of Job (Hungary, 1983, Imre Gyöngyössy and Barna Kabay); Martha and Me (France/Germany, 1990, Jirí Weiss); Diamonds in the Snow (US, 1994, Mira Reym Binford); and A Kenyéreslány Balladája/The Ballad of the Bread Girl (Hungary, 1995, János Herskó).  Significant also are two Israeli films written by and starring the Holocaust refugee Gilah Almagor: The Summer of Aviya (1988) and Under the Domim Tree (1994).
Here are some other titles I have seen, not related to the Holocaust, and in no particular order:
Elia Kazan's America, America
Barry Levinson's Avalon
Claire Denis' Chocolat
Spike Lee's Crooklyn
Jim Sheridan's In America
Gordon Parks' The Learning Tree
Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis
Woody Allen's Radio Days
Of course the question of what constitutes "racial" or "ethnic" autobiography is fraught.  A white person might be tempted to think of an autobiographical film by an African-American as automatically "racial," but what about an autobiographical film by a white person?
Joshua Hirsch
> Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 17:24:53 -0700
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [SCREEN-L] Query: racial and ethnic autobiography
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Hello Film and TV Studies Discussion List Members,
> I'm scheduled to teach a class on racial and ethnic autobiography for the
> upcoming summer term. It's a topic I'm not at all familiar with, but I think
> it could be a lot of fun. I'm wondering if the list could offer me
> suggestions for autobiographical films and documentaries.
> Thanks very much and my apologies for cross-postings,
> Brian Locke
> Ethnic Studies
> University of Colorado, Boulder
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