Jewish Utility Film

A case study of “Gebrauchs­film” (util­i­ty film) will focus on a neglect­ed and large­ly unstud­ied sub­ject in film his­to­ry, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the con­text of Jew­ish film. The term “Gebrauchs­film” focus­es on the recep­tion and exploita­tion con­texts of the films; aes­thet­ic cri­te­ria, on the oth­er hand, are sec­ondary, although rough dis­tinc­tions can be made between polit­i­cal, enter­tain­ment and edu­ca­tion­al con­texts of utilization.

For an archae­ol­o­gy of cin­e­ma, it is impor­tant to include util­i­ty films: They show in which con­texts of use films have stood, which aes­thet­ic, rhetor­i­cal and argu­men­ta­tive forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion these films made use of and to which visu­al for­mats they had access. The aim of the sub­pro­ject is to inves­ti­gate the dis­tri­b­u­tion and sig­nif­i­cance of util­i­ty films with­in the Jew­ish film her­itage. The basis for this is the research and nar­row­ing down of a suit­able film corpus.