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Between Two Worlds
The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933
S. S. Prawer
240 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-074-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2005)
ISBN 978-1-84545-303-9 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (September 2007)
eISBN 978-1-78238-791-6 eBook
"The book serves two essential purposes. First, it clearly establishes the massive contributions Jews made to the establishment of film as an art during the formative years of the motion picture, bringing needed recognition to Jewish producers, directors, composers, and writers. ... Second, it interrogates the concept of the Jewish 'presence." · Austrian History Yearbook
"Prawer’s impressively comprehensive book aims to show ‘some of the ways in which Jews participated in the manifold work needed to create a film…—in harmony with non-Jewish colleagues amid a spattering of voices raised to discriminate between them’. He successfully achieves his goal, while providing an excellent overview of popular genres of this period…In around 200 pages, Prawer accomplishes a great deal. The strengths of this volume include its in-depth socio-historical background information on a great number of films, astute inter-filmic connections, and even some technical analysis...scholars in the field should consider Between Two Worlds a definitive resource on this topic." · Shofar
“Prawer makes a persuasive case that the corpus of Jewish characters, Jewish themes, Jewish motifs, and Jewish professionals in German film did constitute something unique. This Jewish presence represented a range of experience never before available for the German-speaking public’s consumption.” · Austrian History Yearbook
“…[this] impressively comprehensive book…accomplishes a great deal. The strengths of this volume include its in-depth socio-historical background information on a great number of films, astute inter-filmic connections, and even some technical analysis… scholars in the field should consider Between Two Worlds a definitive resource on this topic.” · Shofar
“Prawer’s study is a pleasure to read…In addition there is a very full bibliography which, together with an index of Jewish artists and administrators working in the German and Austrian film industry up to 1933, film historians will find indispensable.” · MLA
“[The book’s] well documented argument complements nicely those of historians writing more broadly on German-speaking Jews, and scholars and graduate students in that field would do well to familiarize themselves with Prawer’s impressive study.” · German Studies Review
Jews have been well represented in the cinema industry from the beginning of the film era: behind the screen, as producers, distributors, directors, script-writers, composers, set designers; and on the screen, as Jewish actors and as named Jewish characters in the film's plot. Some of these characters are fictional; others, ranging from Rabbi Loew of Prague to Ferdinand Lassalle and Alfred Dreyfus, have a historic original. This book examines how a variety of German and Austrian films treat aspects of Jewish life, at home and in the synagogue, and Jewish interaction with fellow Jews in different cultural environments; conflicts and accommodations between Jews and non-Jews at various times, ranging from the medieval to the contemporary. The author, one of the best known scholars in film history, theory and criticism, offers the reader a rich panorama of the many Jews involved in all spheres of the cinema and who, as the author reminds us repeatedly, together with their non-Jewish contemporaries, created a great industry and new forms of art.
S. S. Prawer (1925-2012) was a Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford, the British Academy, and the German Academy of Language and Literature.
Subject: Film and Television Studies Jewish Studies
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