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A Good Example: Brecht Before the House Un-American Activities Committee

USA, 1979 (MIFF 1981)

Director: Bertrand Sauzier

House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 Nineteen Hollywood personalities were subpoenaed. These included Brecht, a foreigner about to return to Germany. The first ten witnesses refused to testify, became known as the "Hollywood Ten", and were later imprisoned In agreement with the Ten and their lawyers. Brecht answered the Committee's questions and was allowed to leave the country The film puts Brecht's stay in the U.S. in historical perspective, and provides us with a picture of the playwright responding with wit and clarity in the face of political hysteria.

Brecht's "slyness, his irony, and the spectacle of a literary man outfoxing the crude political witch-hunters make this documentary of a botched persecution surprisingly entertaining.

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