The momentous Holocaust narrative, "The Diary of Anne Frank", appeared in 1947, one year prior to the establishment of the Jewish State. The Israeli psyche and therefore Israeli art, however, "waited" until the 1961 public indictment of a Nazi war-criminal to hesitantly begin to face the Jewish catastrophe. The Zionist wish to forge a "New Jew" was in part responsible for this suppression. Aharon Appelfeld's understated short stories were the first to enter the modernist literary scene in the 1960s, followed in 1970 by the cryptic verse of Dan Pagis, a fellow child survivor. Only in 1988 did the Second Generation of survivors reveal themselves. Indeed, two Israeli-born pop singers -- haunted children of survivors -- broke the continuous practice of concealing the past and its emotional aftermath in the watershed documentary "Because of That War."
This course will follow and analyze the transformation of Israeli literature and cinema from instruments of suppression of the Holocaust into means for dealing with this historic national trauma. Although Israeli works constitute more than half of the course's material, other works of film and fiction will play comparative roles.
Five 1 page film response papers, a 5 page midterm paper and a final exam.
There will be five film screenings; the films will also be placed on reserve at the library for those students unable to attend these screenings.