USA, 1987 (MIFF 1988, Documentary)
Director: Judy Chaikin
Last October marked the 40th anniversary of the beginning of what some observers have called The American Inquisition - the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of Communist activities m Hollywood in 1947. What ensued was a not-so-golden page in Hollywood history, an era of blacklistings, a painful period when the fragile notion of personal and public freedom in US politics was severely tested.
This documentary, narrated by Burt Lancaster and John Houseman, assesses the impact of the anti Communist hearings on the lives of the now legendary Hollywood Ten - the 10 Hollywood writers and producers who refused to co-operate with the Cold War - inspired witchhunts, by pleading the First Amendment
These men were found in contempt of Congress, sent to prison, and subsequently banned from regular work in Hollywood These dark times are re evoked via interviews with surviving friends and relatives of the Ten, firsthand accounts of how their own lives and the lives of their children were affected - P.K.
“What I learned during the making of the film is how deeply feelings about the Blacklist Years still run in Hollywood Tune and time again help came from unexpected sources Often I would ask, 'Why are you doing this enormous favour for me?' The answer always came back Because we remember'.” - Judy Chaikin