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Narratives of judgement: representations of 'privileged' Jews in Holocaust documentaries

Brown, Adam 2014, Narratives of judgement: representations of 'privileged' Jews in Holocaust documentaries, La Revue LISA, vol. 12, no. 1.

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Title Narratives of judgement: representations of 'privileged' Jews in Holocaust documentaries
Author(s) Brown, Adam
Journal name La Revue LISA
Volume number 12
Issue number 1
Total pages 15
Publisher University of Caen
Place of publication Caen, France
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1762-6153
Keyword(s) Holocaust
film
documentary
privileged Jews
judgement
representation
ethics
Summary Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi’s highly influential essay, “The Grey Zone”, explores the taboo issue of “privileged” Jews, those prisoners who were forced to cooperate with their Nazi captors in order to prolong their lives or the lives of their families. Levi argues that moral evaluations of privileged Jews should be suspended; however, judgements of these liminal figures have permeated representations of victims’ experiences. Taking Levi’s reflections on the “grey zone” as a point of departure, I analyse the ways in which a number of Holocaust documentary narratives construct problematic judgements of privileged Jews; nonetheless, it will be shown that some films engage with the issue in a nuanced manner. While Levi singles out the medium of film as particularly predisposed to simplistic judgements, I argue that documentary film has considerable potential to offer a complex representation of the extreme ethical dilemmas that privileged Jews faced.
Language eng
Field of Research 200104 Media Studies
190299 Film, Television and Digital Media not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaines
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30062339

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Created: Thu, 03 Apr 2014, 14:09:25 EST by Adam Brown

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.