News & Events - "Gentleman's Agreement"
 
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Gentleman's Agreement

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On Thursday night, March 21, 2013, fifteen students packed into the SDCC Movie Theater for a showing of "Gentleman's Agreement" - the 1947 Academy Award winning film about anti-Semitism.  Hosted by the History Department, the movie night sought to engage students with a different side of history - history through Hollywood. While movies don't always provide the most accurate portrayal of academic history subjects, this particular movie deserves credit for its portrayal of how Americans saw and experienced their relationships with Jews in the years following World War II.  Gregory Peck stars as the protagonist tasked with writing a series of articles on anti-Semitism.  Looking for a unique "angle" on the topic, Peck's character decides to "play a Jew" and the subsequent experiences he has painfully exemplify that anti-Semitism was alive in American society in the late 1940s.  The film won Best Picture and many students in attendance that night agreed it did rightfully so.  Many were also made aware of how far society has progressed in the past 60 years and how they experience clashes of race and culture in different ways today.  However, the night itself proved to be a valuable learning experience for students in both the specifics of post-WWII racism, and the larger constructs of race today.  Next month the History Department will host another movie night, showing "October Sky", a touching picture about the Cold War era in American history.
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