Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream 1998
In the documentary Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream, director Simcha Jacobovici uses Neal Gabler's book "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood" to put forward the theory that the American dream in studio classics of yesteryear was less a reflection of the country's history than the idealized fantasies of the first immigrant moguls, men like Carl Laemmle (Germany), Harry Warner and Sam Goldwyn (Poland), William Fox and Adolph Zukor (Hungary), and Russia's own Louis B. Mayer.

Fleeing persecution in Europe, and embracing America with a no-going-back fervor, they initially encountered a new form of discrimination in New York — WASP control of banking, finance, higher education and movie production — before heading west to the rawer, more level playing field of California, where they created their own "golden shtetls". Industrializing the filmmaking process by creating studio complexes, and even inventing the Oscars to celebrate one another, they imbued non-Jewish, all-American subjects with images and values drawn from their experiences back in Europe, with each of the major studios packaging the dream in ways that reflected its owner’s background and personality.

Using both archival material and clips from classic pics, plus interviews with relatives of long-dead moguls, this fascinating though sometimes oversimplified item by documaker Simcha Jacobovici shows how that dream was in fact the creation of a bunch of Jewish immigrants from Central Europe earlier this century, rather than a product of America’s prior history.

Directors: Simcha Jacobovici, Stuart Samuels
Cast: Neal Gabler, J. Hoberman, Arthur Tracy
Country: Canada

DVD5 | NTSC 4:3 | 01:41:43 | 4.20 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Genre: Documentary, History

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