Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
Before Germany’s government fell in 1945, the Nazis made over 1,200 feature films under the aegis of Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Forty of them are still considered “dangerous” and are banned in Germany and many other countries to this day. But should they be, or is this censorship?
This is the key question director Felix Moeller grapples with in his provocative and thought-provoking documentary Forbidden Films. Moeller aims the spotlight onto some of the most contested films in the Nazi canon, while local and international experts, ranging from journalists, historians, and political scientists to the children of the infamous Nazi film stars and former neo-Nazis, attempt to contextualize the argument either for or against the outlawing of these inflammatory films.
As we’ve seen with the recent Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, the debate on dangerous ideas and their availability to the public is as fresh now as when these Nazi films were made during The Third Reich. The question of whether these should or shouldn’t be released remains debatable, but with this rare opportunity to view extensive clips of some of the world’s most anti-Semitic films (many of which are “Hollywood quality”), Moeller invites audiences to make up their own minds.
“Timely and even vital . . . a thoughtful and sensitive addition to the debate surrounding censorship that continues to complicate our ideas concerning freedom and self-expression in the modern world.” – Oleg Ivanov, Slant Magazine
Official Selection of the Jerusalem International Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, and Toronto Jewish Film Festival