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Moving Images, Static Lives: Interwar Polish Jewish Documentary Films (2016-2017)


Publication: 10.58367/NECY.2023.1
Field of study: History, Judaic Studies

This article examines two sets of films—those produced by amateur home movie-makers, Polish Jewish immigrants to the United States, on return visits home as well as the Six Cities series produced professionally by Sektor Films—in the context of the larger project of the creation of an image of Polish Jewish life in the interwar period. It uses the concepts of nostalgia delineated by Svetlana Boym to argue that even more than fundraising, the filmmakers intended their documentation to create a nostalgic souvenir for Americanized Jews and their children, a pre-facto memorialization of Polish Jewish life.

Keywords: Jews, Judaism, interwar Poland, emigration, American Jews, diaspora, film, documentary, nostalgia, Svetlana Boym

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