cover of book

Revolution in Paradise: Veiled Representations of Jewish Characters in the Cinema of Occupied France
by Yehuda Moraly
Sussex Academic Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-84519-719-3 | eISBN: 978-1-78284-584-3
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.J46M65 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.436529924044

The era of the German Occupation of France constituted, surprisingly, a golden age for the arts. These works of art seem to be devoid of political impact. The purpose of this book is to show that, contrary to this accepted view, some of these films were intimately linked to the political situation. All five movies analyzed (Les Inconnus dans la maison;, dir. Henri Decoin, 1942; Les Visiteurs du Soir;, dir. Marcel Carn, 1942; L'Eternel retour;, dir. Jean Delannoy, 1943; Les Enfants du Paradis;, dir. Marcel Carn, 1943) present characters not identified as Jews but who exhibit negative "Jewish" traits, in contrast to the aristocratic characters whom they aspire to emulate. They demonstrate, implicitly, central themes of explicit anti-Semitic propaganda. Analysis of these films brings out the contradictory nature of European anti-Semitism. On one hand, the Jew is the anti-Christ, throttling the world with disgusting materialism while on the other hand, he is representative of an ancestral stifling morality, which it is time to abolish.
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