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Film Class: To Be or Not to Be

  • Jewish Community Library (map)

We will look at two classic comedic films made during World War II, both set in Europe and featuring explicitly Jewish characters. How were the films viewed by audiences, critics, and the filmmakers themselves? And is there an appropriate place for comedy in the context of the rise of the Nazis and persecution of Jews?  The first class examined Chaplin's The Great Dictator. 

Discussions facilitated by Library Director Howard Freedman. 
Films will be shown in video projection. 

To Be or Not to Be


Ernst Lubitsch’s unlikely screwball comedy is set in Warsaw in 1939, on the eve of the German invasion of Poland.  Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star as members of a theater troupe set to perform an anti-Nazi play, interrupted by the arrival of the Nazis. With conditions changed, the actors lend their talents to the efforts of the Polish resistance. 1942, 99 minutes