I don't want to reduce the complexity of Sterling Chen's recent posting about
*Schindler's List* and other "socially conscious" films, but for the second
time I wish to clarify my own position which has been mis-stated a couple of
times on this list in recent weeks:
> I'm not sure how representative my media-drenched, film-soaked
> perspective is, but I guess I sort of keep coming back to Stephen Hart's
> and Alison McKee(?)'s postings on being surprised about the horrors of
> the Holocaust (what an overused, now-meaningless phrase) while watching
> Schindler's. It just stirs something in me. Any thoughts?
I was most emphatically *not* "surprised" by "the horrors of the Holocaust,"
as characterized by Spielberg. My post had to do with the fact that I was
startled by the seeming surprise, or lack of awareness, of some *audience
members* during my viewing of the film, who seemed to be encountering this
kind of information for the first time. At 33, I cannot recall a time when
I was *not* aware of such information, perhaps because my parents were
World War II-era people who made sure that I was exposed to information about
the war generally and the Holocaust specifically as I grew up.
However, I also remember learning about the Holocaust in (public) school,
certainly by seventh grade and possibly before. My surprise is
rooted in the fact that I assumed that grade schools, junior
high, and high schools have continued to teach that history, when in fact,
it appears that some do not. That fact is troubling to me.
As I indicated before, Stephen Hart posted a thoughtful response to my
original post which articulated an experience that was different from
Department of Film and Television