How to Write a Hollywood Holocaust Film

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2008 8:29 PM CST
In this image released by MGM, Tom Cruise portrays Claus von Stauffenberg, left, and Carice Van Houten portrays his wife, Nina, in "Valkyrie."   (AP Photo/MGM, Frank Connor)
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(Newser) – New Holocaust movies arrive in time for the holidays and Academy voters every year, "but maybe new isn't quite the right word," writes Ben Crair, who sees five basic Holocaust plots. He lists them in Slate: 

  • Nice German: From Schindler's List (1993) to this year's Valkyrie, Hollywood has uncovered "tales of German goodness."

  • Jewish uprising: Movies about Jews in wartime, like The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and the new Defiance, usually center on the resistance, a more uplifting side of the war.
  • The guilty party: Handing out Holocaust blame isn't always easy, but that hasn't stopped Hollywood. The Reader, starring Kate Winslet, is the latest Holocaust court drama.
  • Moving on: Survivor narratives range from Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker (1964) to this year's Adam Resurrected, starring Jeff Goldblum as a mental patient.
  • The folk tale: Like Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful (1997) and this season's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, some films turn the Holocaust into an uplifting fable.