Through excerpts of Hollywood's most important Holocaust films, this documentary tells the story of the American film industry's complex and contradictory responses to the horrors of Nazi Germany. Imaginary Witness takes us on a 60-year journey, from America's ambivalence and denial during the rise of Nazism, through the silence of the post-war years, to finally when those most deeply affected by the events - the survivors - began to speak and Hollywood's artistic community responded with moving, powerful films like Schindler's List and The Pianist, attracting millions of viewers worldwide.

Told through first-hand accounts of directors, actors, writers, and producers this documentary asks hard questions about the uneasy relationship between American popular culture and the Holocaust. We find out about the difficulties and responsibility of filmmakers as they re-imagine for the screen the horrors of Nazi Germany and how film itself has the power to shape and reflect history and memory.

Featuring candid interviews with directors Steven Spielberg, Sidney Lumet, Dan Curtis, Vincent Sherman, actor Rod Steiger in his last interview talking about his most acclaimed role ever in The Pawnbroker
, survivors, including actor Robert Clary and producer Branko Lustig, unique footage from newsreels and the movies through the decades, including Schindler's List, Sophie's Choice, Mortal Storm, Confessions of a Nazi Spy, Diary of Anne Frank, Underground, and The Pianist


Director: Daniel Anker
Running time: 52 minutes
GenresL Documentary and Jewish Identity
Country: United States
Year: 2004