Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies, and the American Dream

HOLLYWOODISM looks at mainstream American cinema from a startling perspective: The American dream - of white picket fences and the outsider who becomes an insider - was born of the hopes, fears and ambitions of shtetl Jews who emigrated to America! Director Simcha Jacobovici (DEADLY CURRENTS -1992 SF JFF and EXPULSION AND MEMORY - 1996 SF JFF) demonstrates how a small group of Eastern European immigrants took a technological novelty and turned it into the world's most powerful mass media. Based on Neil Gabler's "A World of Their Own", the film uses rare archival footage and newly discovered home movies to follow the rise and fall of the movie moguls from turn-of-the-century Europe to California. Free of the constraints of old-world society, they helped shape a new culture and social structure. The history of Hollywood is also a story of assimilation and denial. HOLLYWOODISM takes a hard look at the studio executives' role in the McCarthy trials. Seeking to prove they are red-blooded Americans, they grovel under interrogation and turn against many of their industry's greatest talents. The film ends as Adolf Zukor (Paramount), Carl Laemmle (Universal), Louis Mayer (MGM) and the Warner brothers lose control of their empires. What endures is their legacy: a vision of America that has conquered the world.
Simcha Jacobovici is a documentary director and producer. His numerous international awards include a Certificate of Special Merit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a Genie Award, A Gold Medal from the International Documentary Festival of Nyon, and two U.S. Cable Ace Awards. His most recent credits include DEADLY CURRENTS, BONES OF CONTENTION, A CHILD'S GRIEF, THE PLAGUE MONKEYS, NORTHERN JUSTICE, EXPULSION AND MEMORY: DESCENDANTS OF HIDDEN JEWS, THE PLAGUE FIGHTERS / EBOLA: INSIDE AN OUTBREAK and JEWS IN RUSSIA: AN AMERICAN HOLY WAR. A 1953 Israeli-born Canadian, Mr. Jacobovici who speaks four languages, left Israel as a child and returned as an adult to serve in the Israeli military. He studied Philosophy at McGill University and holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Toronto.
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