Jud Suss

Topics: Jews, Judaism, Antisemitism Pages: 3 (1194 words) Published: November 10, 2013
Jud Süß – A Subtle yet Blatantly Obvious anti-Semitic Film ‘’The events on this film are based on historical facts’’ – this seemingly harmless exposition in the film Jud Süß by Veit Harlan creates an immediate impression to viewers that the plot is credible and unbiased. This is the beauty of Jud Süß as an anti-Semitic Film - the storyline and characters are so well developed that it becomes easy for viewers to lose track of the underlying anti-Semitic tones present. The propaganda is not apparent but is presented in a subtle manner that smoothly contributes to the overall plot of the film. However, despite Harlan’s effective effort into its subtlety, Jud Süß is undeniably an anti-Semitic film. Ironically, the lack of crassness and evident propaganda in the film makes it extremely effective as an anti-Semitic film as viewers could leave the cinema with a new born prejudice against Jews without even knowing it. It wasn’t just a crude propaganda as the film had many other enjoyable aspects of it such as the cinematography, the vintage set up and the professionalism of the actors and actresses. It had typical elements of a melodrama such as dramatic reversals of fortune, suspense and over-dramatic characters. The story is delivered as an old tale of good versus evil, the evil clearly represented by Oppenheimer, the Jew. Oppenheimer plays the devil’s advocate here by turning Germans against themselves. After being manipulated and influenced by Oppenheimer, even the duke eventually spots the snake in the grass and questions Remchingen ‘’Should an open feud break out between me and my Swabians?’’. What follows is the scene of an angry mob of people charging towards the castle in distinct dissatisfaction. This is a huge contrast to the beginning of the film, when the people of Württenberg were cheering and celebrating the Duke’s coronation, before the appearance of the Jew. Harlan uses this difference as a tool to highlight the before and after effects of having a...
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