Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-6756-7 • Hardback • April 2012 • $118.00 • (£91.00)
978-0-8108-7986-7 • eBook • April 2012 • $106.00 • (£82.00)
Robert C. Reimer, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Languages and Culture Studies and professor of German at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.
Carol J. Reimer, M.L.S., is Gifts Coordinator and an associate in Collection Development and Electronic Resources in the J. Murrey Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.
Robert C. Reimer and Carol J. Reimer (Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte; Historical Dictionary of German Cinema) here cover “actual events of World War II and the Holocaust as well as the cinematic treatment of these events during the time since.” A chronology from 1933 to 2011 provides a framework for this subject. Entries give a historical context, and while they do not include detailed IMDB-type information such as cast, crew, or running time, they do list the film’s year of release and director. Places (Warsaw ghetto, Auschwitz), key figures (Adolf Hitler, Adolf Eichmann), and subjects (genocide) are also examined. Topics that have their own entry are in bold throughout. Profiles of mainstream films such as Schindler’s List and The Pianist are included along with documentaries The Sorrow and the Pity and Shoah. The 1978 television miniseries Holocaust: The Story of the Family Weiss is cited as a turning point in the depiction of the Holocaust in popular media. Other aspects of Holocaust cinema include Shanghai Ghetto, a 2002 documentary about “Jewish refugees who escape the Holocaust by immigrating to Shanghai,” and the use of comedy as in Life Is Beautiful and The Great Dictator. Holocaust films affecting the Roma (And the Violins Stopped Playing) and homosexuals (Bent) are discussed. VERDICT Selective, not exhaustive, this resource provides much information on Holocaust cinema and many opportunities for further research. Ideal for students and teachers looking for media resources as well as anyone invested in the subject.
— Library Journal
Though not a definitive resource on the history of cinema pertaining to the Holocaust, this volume is a solid starting point for research on the genre or a specific film. Entries include international filmmakers and Holocaust figures and films in various genres (feature films, documentaries, TV presentations) produced from 1940 to 2011. The book begins with a chronology from 1933 to 2011 that showcases events and films. A lengthy introduction explaining the cinematic history is divided by time period. The bulk of the work consists of the well-written, informational entries, arranged alphabetically. Most of the entries deal with specific films and include a plot summary and a paragraph of critical evaluation with some history and comparisons to other films. Other entries cover Holocaust-related terms and include examples of films that fit the topic. Entries on relevant people include a brief biography and related films. Entries range in length from a single paragraph to a page or more; boldface terms within the text refer to other entries, and see also references appear at the end. The book contains black-and-white stills from many of the featured films. A filmography lists all of the films covered in the dictionary, plus others. An extremely extensive bibliography completes the volume; although it is limited to works about cinema and primary works that served as source material for films, it provides researchers with a great deal of additional information. Any academic or large public libraries with a serious collection of Holocaust material will benefit from this volume, as will general film-studies collections.
A very welcome addition to the series and to cinema studies as well as Holocaust studies in general and broadens the argument to both cinema and Holocaust studies.
Not only is this title a useful addition to Holocaust-related reference collections, the authors deserve praise for producing a resource that virtually anyone attracted to film and the Holocaust will find interesting. The work begins with a chronology and introduction, both of which aim to place the evolution of Holocaust-related films in historical context. Its core is "The Dictionary," which selectively includes entries on films, filmmakers (e.g., Marcel Ophüls), and topics (e.g., Adolf Eichmann) that have inspired filmmakers. The range is commendable: documentaries, made-for-television films, and Hollywood blockbusters; both black-and-white and color films; rigorous international coverage; and presentations that range from poignantly personal treatments (e.g., The Pawnbroker) to broadly inclusionary presentations. Whereas the alphabetized "Filmography" (which follows the dictionary) is comprehensive, one might wonder why Robert Reimer and Carol Reimer (both, UNC Charlotte) chose to include dictionary entries for some films (e.g., Mephisto, an excellent film, is a debatable inclusion) while omitting others (e.g., Voyage of the Damned, which portrays the St. Louis voyage). Quibbles aside, however, this historical dictionary is an exceedingly useful reference source that belongs in any reference collection supporting film or Holocaust studies. Useful bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
— Choice Reviews
Recommended for large collections.
— American Reference Books Annual
This is one more excellent cinema work from the Historical Dictionary of Literature and The Arts series. The book contains a number of film stills and is well laid out with a good-sized clear font. It will be an excellent source book for students of the cinema and those involved in Jewish studies. Students studying the Second World War, the Nazis, propaganda and how such a complex and harrowing subject was dealt with through the media of cinema and television will also find it valuable.
— Reference Reviews