The Genesis of ‚Jewish Film‘

‘Jew­ish film’ has been sub­stan­tial­ly shaped by the Jew­ish film fes­ti­vals emerg­ing since the 1980s, orig­i­nal­ly in the USA, but there were dis­cus­sions about ‘Jew­ish­ness’ in the con­text of film before that. Exhi­bi­tions high­light­ed the Jew­ish expe­ri­ence in film his­to­ry and films were pro­duced for exhi­bi­tions in Jew­ish muse­ums, for exam­ple. Ret­ro­spec­tives and film series focused on Jew­ish actors or cer­tain chap­ters in film his­to­ry, such as Yid­dish-lan­guage cin­e­ma. Just as impor­tant­ly, jour­nal­is­tic dis­cus­sions of Jew­ish film his­to­ry took place and con­tributed to increas­ing vis­i­bil­i­ty and con­tin­ued analy­sis. Now there are film dis­trib­u­tors spe­cial­is­ing in Jew­ish top­ics as well as stream­ing ser­vices with a sim­i­lar focus. This research project will explore how analy­sis of the Jew­ish expe­ri­ence in film his­to­ry has tak­en shape and devel­oped in a dis­cur­sive con­text and how the con­cept of ‘Jew­ish film’, by no means homo­ge­neous, came about.

The research group is fund­ed by Post­Doc­Net­work Brandenburg.