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HOLLYWOODISM: JEWS, MOVIES AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

Canada, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Documentaries)

Director: Simcha Jacobovici

The central premise of Hollywoodism is that most of the founders of the most influential film companies in Hollywood were either East European Jewish immigrants or first generation American Jews, including Adolph Zukor (Paramount), Carl Laemmle (Universal), the Warner Brothers and Louis B. Mayer (MGM). In the new country these people reinvented themselves as Americans. In the process they reinvented America, using the silver screen to bring their dreams to life. Hollywoodism follows their immigration to America through their success in nickelodeons, to the later political attacks on Hollywood by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Firsthand accounts of Hollywood's founders are told through a series of interviews with their children and grandchildren, in addition to comments from film historians, critics, actors, producers and other industry contemporaries. Director Jacobovici has accessed never before seen home movies, behind the scenes studio films, rare archive footage and movie clips to flesh out the deeper truths of the cinema pioneers' private lives.

"Jacobovici's impressive documentary guarantees to raise both consciousness and hackles... We are so accustomed to meretricious cultural studies that when the real thing comes along we may fail to see how many windows and veins it opens." - New York Magazine

"Hollywoodism properly celebrates the way the founding fathers of the American Dream-machine transformed deep-seated personal dreams into resilient shimmering public imagery." - Boston Globe

Simcha Jacobovici was born in 1953 and has received many awards as film producer and director, including a Certificate of Special Merit from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a 1996 Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Jacobovici's most recent films include A Mother's Grief (1997), The Dancing Game (1997) and The Selling of Jesus (1996).

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