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The above is a production still from Edward Swick’s would be corrective to Jewish victimhood in the Holocaust.  In this case his heroes, based on a real-world story, fight back.  The characters are supposed to be those few who eluded Nazi roundups and fled to the woods with the clothes on their backs.  Note the clothes on their backs.  Note the gently glowing light which suffuses their faces.  Not the carefully coiffed hair.  Note that Hollywood has not a clue what life or death or anything real is about or how to show it.  One would think that with millions of dollars at one’s disposal it would not be too much to have clothes that have the stains and wear and tear of life on them, especially a rough life.  But alas, Hollywood knows nothing of such things, only of costume departments, hair dressers, set decorators, cinematographers and directors, most of whom live in a world of unwarranted wealth, and know little about the rigors of the actual life of those less fortunate than themselves.

Here is what it “really” looked like.


Of course Mr Swick and his associates are self-pleased with the hardships of their shoot in the actual autumnal and early winter woods of Lithuania, their do-good intentions of showing that some resisted, etc. etc.

Dwarfed by pines so immense and thick the sunlight rarely penetrated, we worked from dawn until dark in the damp, mossy hollows, never growing accustomed to a perpetual half-light so dim even at midday that we needed super-fast lenses to gain enough exposure to shoot. Most mornings a low-hanging fog would rise from nearby bogs, enveloping us and chilling to the bone. Arriving on the set before first light, hundreds of spectral figures, dress extras clothed in tatters, with blankets wrapped around their heads, would huddle together for warmth.

Oh yes, filmmaking is really tough, a heroic enterprise, and “when you wish upon a star (of David), matters not just who you are….” Disneycaust, whether here in Defiance or in Schindler’s List.

Not to be outdone by stories of non-wimpish Jews, Hollywood* also in the same season sees fit to produce a film about wimpish Germans, Good, where, once again, any semblance of reality eludes the great technical skills of Lalaland.

This rickety film collapses completely in its revelatory scene at a concentration camp, where Halder finally faces the reality he has denied. As he wanders dazedly around the premises casting furtive glances, the prisoners and guards, played by healthy-looking actors, are clumsily arranged in stiff tableaus as though they were about to perform in a pageant. It is the single most unconvincing death-camp scene I have encountered in a film.

So writes critic Stephen Holden who seems to hint that he has never seen a convincing death-camp scene (fictional), which is surely correct.

*Actually it is perhaps unfair to pin this one on Hollywood proper as the film is a production of ThinkFilm, a production company which is ostensibly independent, in some imagined sense, from the biggies of Tinseltown – afterall it has its offices in Manhattan.  With a biz monicker like that they apparently might have given some further thought on this one.

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