The Shining (1980) review and analysis

Rated: 4.5 / 5

“I’m sorry to differ with you sir. But *you* are the Caretaker. You have *always* been the Caretaker. I should know sir, I have *always* been here.”

A lot of people tend to think of this film as a horror movie, or at the very least a thriller.  About a family composed of a mother, father, and son, where the father goes completely off the deep end thanks in-part to the hauntings of the hotel they stay at, and the son carries an abnormal element himself.  Where it becomes clear the mother must escape with her son before she loses her son to either the father/hotel, before the father/hotel kills them, repeating the events that happened 10 years ago.

While this is without a doubt a horror movie, I tend to look at it more as a commentary on history.  Not necessarily on historical events themselves (though it does have symbolism to make statements on that), but on an aspect of history as a topic.  How history affects people past, present, and future.  And this is something that one may not pick up on clearly until the very last moment of the film.

The characters are intentionally left unexplained in many ways.  Normally, I’d consider this a bad thing, having undeveloped characters.  Don’t get me wrong, we do know some things about them.  About how Jack, the father, had a drinking problem in the past, which caused him to hurt his son by accident, which damaged the entire family relationship.  Even though he quite drinking and tried to be a better person, they were never quite the same.  And we see that the mother, Wendy, is doing her best to cope with that, to move past it, trying to keep the family together, and to keep her relationship with her husband together.  After all, they both still have a relationship.  There are indications they are still trying to keep it together.  But it’s not a crack that has fully healed; which seems particularly evident with the mother’s smoking habit (stressful).  And the son, Danny.  Well, considering his youth, it’s forgivable for him to not have much background, aside from preferring to stay isolated from the other children, and having an “invisible friend” named Tony that he talks to off and on.

On the other hand, we don’t know for certain how “accidental” it was for Jack to have hurt Danny.  If it was just a momentary lapse of judgement of physical strength as he claims at the bar, or if it was an indication as to just how crazy he would become.  Though it is heavily implied he was already a bit off his rocker during the first scene we see him in (he does seem a bit off in that interview; especially with those eyebrows).  There are also subtle clues indicating that Jack has been getting more and more frustrated with his life not only because of his career failures, but also because of the indication that his family is starting to get on his nerves (subtle clues to this can be seen when they are driving towards the hotel, one of the very few scenes where they are together as a family; how he is visibly restraining himself from expressing too much annoyance and what his wife and child are saying to him, and lets off steam with some attempt at shock and sarcasm).  He wants to isolate himself from society just as much as he wants to isolate himself from his family, even though he consciously feels he still loves them, and up until the hotel had consciously tried to maintain that love.  It begs the question as to just how much the haunted hotel accelerated his descent into madness, or if he was already going mad prior to going to the hotel.  Yet the character is aware of the audience judging him, as those with a sharp eye may notice an instance when he breaks the fourth wall during his first scene at the bar with Lloyd, how he glances at the camera before going on a rant at how accidental it was that he caused harm to his son.  Like he’s saying, “Who are you to judge me, especially you looking in beyond the veil?”

Stop judging me or I’ll kill the cameraman!

“Here’s to 5 miserable months on the wagon, and all the irreparable harm that it has caused me.”

About Danny and his internal “friend.”  It is indicated that Jack was the one who set that off, set off Danny having his “invisible friend,” because the day he harmed his son was the day his son got in touch with Tony.  Thus implying (as this concept is explained later) that both Danny and Jack have the “shine” to a varying degree.  Because of Jack, Danny became more aware of it.  But Jack remains unaware of his ability, or at least what this ability of his entails despite what he is able to see (including in his dreams).  But we aren’t aware as to whether Tony is an actual real apparition that resides within Danny, or if Danny had developed a split personality disorder in order to cope with his newfound Shining gift.  After all, the other individual in the film, Dick Hallorann the cook, who is aware of “the shine” seems a bit baffled at the existence of Tony.

“She’s a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict.”

About Wendy.  We know she’s a loving mother who is trying to maintain the happiness of herself and her family, while dealing with the stress of the effort via a cigarette habit.  It’s as if she’s uncomfortable with the current state of things, but is desperately trying to ignore that and keep things together.  Just as she seems to be the only one really keeping the hotel together, as she’s the only one we ever see working the boilers and other stuff, even though Jack proclaims himself to be the one tasked with doing that very job (fanatically at times).  An indication that she is the only one making an effort at keeping their relationship together while Jack makes no effort at all?  On the other hand, she does tend to just make statements in the hopes of just making a conversation happen between her and her husband (something that can be understandably irritating in some cases, especially if this is primarily how they interact with one another).  For example, when she first interrupts him when he’s typing, and she says it in the most annoyingly likeable 50s sitcom tone (even her name is that of a traditional 50s sitcom lady):

Wendy: “Hey, the weather said it’s going to snow tonight.”

Jack: “What do you want me to do about it?”

The awkwardness of this conversation is further highlighted in a manner that even those without a sharp eye will probably notice on a subliminal level.  For those who do have a sharp eye, you may notice how in the take prior to Wendy making that statement, there is a chair and a small table up against the wall behind Jack.  But in the shot where Jack has that long pause before asking the question, the chair and table are gone.  When a couple more takes happen, the chair and table are back where they were in the earlier take.  A fluke?  Or intentional?  I’m more willing to believe the latter, since this is a Stanley Kubrick film we’re talking about here.  A Stanley Kubrick film about a haunted hotel no less.  He knows what he’s doing.

Hey… don’t be so grouchy.

All the surface ingredients are there to indicate this is a horror film about the deterioration of the family unit.  In the current film era, it is very common to see films where the father of the family tends to be unreliable and vilified (or at least have the family unit primarily run by a single mother who is indicated to be more reliable than the husband ever was), which is something I would normally despise in a film because of its propaganda (that it’s primarily women who can succeed in raising a family, they can do it alone without need of a husband because “independent woman” power).  However, keep in mind this was not a trend back then.  It was more common for the father figure to be the most inspirational, reliable, leading member of the family, while working with the wife off and on in a cohesive manner (teamwork, but his role as the team leader was established and not challenged because it was natural and not controversial).  Which is why this worked more effectively in the horror aspect back then, because we witness the downward spiral of the father figure who is commonly looked upon as the reliable one, the leader of the family unit, the primary one who worked to keep the family going (financially, and protectively).  When a figure like that loses his mind and becomes corrupted and turns against the rest of the family, that only heightens the sense of danger.  What was once a unique factor in a film like this has now become the norm in films of today.  And that is a topic I will return to later.

One of the very very few scenes the family is seen together.

So, like I was saying, on the surface this film is about the deterioration of the family unit, and how the ghosts within the hotel accelerate that deterioration.  And make no mistake, the ghosts are real.  At first one could believe they are just visions that can’t interact with the real world, that both Danny and Jack are the only ones who can really see them because of their gift (for Danny, it’s a hereditary gift).  And at first, one could believe that Danny had been strangled not by the ghost woman in room 237, but possibly by Jack, or even Danny managing to strangle himself (there are theories about the ghosts not existing, but rather them being projections from the psyche of those who have the shining).  But the moment Jack is set free from the storage room, with a ghost unlocking the door from the outside, that’s the moment we know for sure the ghosts are real, and can most definitely interact in the physical realm.  Say what you will about the shining ability, but at no point is it mentioned or demonstrated to have telekinetic capabilities; unless we’re to believe these characters can move the furniture around (or turns certain lights on and off) between takes.  What’s more, even Wendy starts to see the ghosts and images during the film’s finale.

How is it she’s able to see these ghosts and visions during the finale if she doesn’t have the ability to shine?  One could argue she had the ability all along but didn’t realize it, similar to Jack’s situation except he was able to interact with the visions in the shining without knowing this was some strange ability.  You know, like how some argue that Holdo also has Jedi powers in The Last Jedi (some ol’ bullshit).  But the better argument is that the hotel was hungry for blood, hungry for a sacrifice.  Which is why it drives certain inhabitants such as Jack and Grady into insanity to kill their family to satiate the hotel’s thirst.  So once Jack kills Hallorann (which causes Danny to scream in the darkness, utilizing that same image that was flashed to during the first act of the film when we first see Danny use the shining), the hotel is satisfied it has a blood sacrifice made.  Which is why we now hear disturbing vocals/chants/ghostly talks amidst the music.  Blood sacrifices power the hotel, and make its haunting more apparent, hence why Wendy is now able to see these images.

If the ghosts being real is any indication, there is more beneath the surface of this film than just a simple family deterioration horror story.  The final shot of the film is practically spelling this out as well.  Though many may not be entirely sure what this even means, seeing Jack in an old party photo at the hotel dated back to July 4, 1921 (fun fact: 1921 was the year the silent film The Phantom Carriage was released, which has a sequence in it you will find has striking similarity to another sequence in The Shining).  Independence Day, nearly 60 years prior to the present (in terms of when this film took place, or was released).  Plus there’s also heavy indication that something is off with the opening scene.  How the camera POV is flying across a lake, flying across a street and just going past a yellow car that it follows from a distance, and we hear haunting vocals.  Like some distant tortured scream.  And it winds up at the same destination as the car, the hotel, where the first scene of the film takes place with Jack walking into the lobby (where people check in).  As if a spirit entered the room at the same time as Jack, as if there is a connection between Jack and this unseen floating spirit that we, as the viewer, see through.  And it’s uncomfortable at times.  It was there from the beginning of the film (not just the ending), that Jack may not be a normal part of this world.  He just flies in, traveling within a time period those at the hotel admit is fast.

And there are theories about Jack.  One of them is that he is a reincarnation of Charles Grady.  This is opposed to Delbert Grady who he meets in the Gold Room (and later talks to in the restroom).  There are two Gradys (unless I’m wrong, and Charles Grady was also known as Delbert Grady), though Jack states that he “recognizes” Delbert Grady from the newspaper photos.  Some strange case of identity, that there are multiple Gradys, just as there have been multiple caretakers.  That a new Grady will be reincarnated just as there will be a reincarnated caretaker (who may be one and the same in this case).  Which is why Jack looks stunned and convinced when Delbert Grady tells Jack that he (Jack) has always been the caretaker.  Because, in a reincarnation sense, he is.

But then there’s the theory that the evil hotel simply absorbed Jack into its history.  That this photo didn’t used to have Jack in it, but by the end of the film it did.  Because Jack “sold his soul” (for a drink) to the hotel, and became somewhat possessed, or overly influenced into doing its bidding.  Or the hotel fed his evil side to take over and make him crazy enough to want to kill his family, just as Grady did in the past.  So either when he sold his soul, or when he died, he became a permanent part of the hotel’s history.  Either way, now he is trapped there, forever.  And the other people in the photo are either those from the same time period, or those are other people who have had their souls trapped in the hotel just as Jack has.  Because the Hotel “wants” damaged people like Jack capable of doing terrible deeds.

One of the ways we could’ve confirmed which of the theories is more plausible than the other is by seeing a photo of Charles Grady (the man who chopped up his family with an axe in 1970).  But we never do see a photo of this Charles Grady, to confirm whether or not the person Jack sees in the restroom has a resemblance to that Grady, just as Jack has a resemblance to the man in the 1921 photo.  Is he mis-remembering those details?  He does seem to be recalling them.  You may notice in the discussion in the restroom, Jack is making this “typing in the air” motion with his hand, a method used to recall memory.  A method also used in an anime series titled Monster (which came out well-after this film).  He seems convinced, despite the change in the first name.  Then again, he is going insane, and arguably having a difficult time distinguishing reality from… well, not so sure this can be called fantasy considering it is able to affect reality.

My son Alex needed a good ‘talking to.’

Personally, I’m more willing to believe the reincarnation theory, for a few reasons.  For one thing, Jack having that extreme sense of Deja Vu when at the hotel.  For another, the more in-depth themes of the film.  Because it’s about history repeating itself, just as reincarnations have people from past lives having a repeat life.  Consider how the photograph at the end calls back to the line, “You have always been the caretaker.”  That this outcome was bound to happen, because it was predetermined, because it was fate, maybe even because history is destined to repeat itself.

First, you may have noticed the presence of the American flag at several points throughout the film.  Jack’s initial interview at the beginning of the film in the office, a small American flag on the desk, which currently belongs to Stuart Ullman, who has a passing resemblance to John F. Kennedy.  Then there’s other places where the American flag can be seen, such as the main room where Jack does most of his typing, to the station where authorities maintain radio contact with the hotel.

There are also several mentions about how the hotel was built upon an indian burial ground, and the builders had to repel some indian attacks during this building between 1907 (when they started building the hotel) to 1909 (when construction was complete).  Indian imagery can be found throughout the hotel, as if they are haunting the hotel as well in their own way.  From the imagery above the fireplace, to the carpet in the hallways, to the rugs, and various ornaments, even some food or coffee cans.

Note how the indian imagery on the right has them shaped like rockets, with a fire lit beneath them, indicating blastoff.

The imagery became particularly noticeable (and somewhat eerie and creepy in its own way) when Danny is playing with car toys in the hallway, with them driving along the artistic lines just as they are constantly walked on and over by feet.  As if their history and memory is designed to be disrespected in this hotel, despite the homage it gives them in other areas.  An indication that this hotel was destined to be haunted by indian spirits, something Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper would be more blunt with in the later film Poltergeist.

So, this then becomes about how desecrating an indian site is bad, and shame on America for doing so.  After all, the hotel is supposed to represent America, and it is called the Overlook Hotel, implying history should be overlooked (just as casual viewers will overlook the finer details to be found in this film), just as the horrible events that happened in the hotel (let alone during its construction) should be overlooked.

So it’s subliminally a shame story for America right?

Wrong.

It’s not that simple.  That’s just one of several layers this film has when it comes to the topic of history.  There are also references to Ancient Greece with the hedge maze (and how Jack becomes a personification of the Minotaur within the maze, with his voice becoming less human and discernible, and becoming more monstrous), Jack mentioning “White Man’s Burden” with a drink he orders, and the other drink he orders called “Hair of the Dog that Bit Me.”  With the former drink, it’s a reference to European colonizers.  With the latter, a reference to not just having a drink to cure a hangover (a method that doesn’t work), but also to healing a wound (in medieval times it was thought that taking the hair from the dog that bit you, and putting it into the wound it gave, would help cure the wound).  The history being covered is not limited to just indian tribes.  They just so happen to be the most obvious one that is verbally pointed out on a few occasions.  We would be “overlooking” the others if we were to only focus on the indians.

And children’s tales.

Now, at this point, I’m probably going to read more into this than what the film intended.  The civilizations/societies/cultures that the colonizers took over aren’t exactly all that innocent either.  Certain indian tribes (and the Mayans) practices ritual sacrifice.  Ancient Greeks having strange excessive sexual habits.  The occupants of colonies Europeans colonized weren’t exactly innocent of their own murders and shocking events.  By colonizing them and taking up their own history in the colonizer’s own way, their misdeeds and bad habits carry on in their own way into the Overlook Hotel.

On that note, there’s another key aspect of history that this film most definitely covers.  It’s something that is easier to pick up on if you know what Stanley Kubrick’s last major film, Eyes Wide Shut, is really about.  There’s a hint of it in The Gold Room.  Another hint that this hotel was based in a location that is away from civilization, out in the wilderness, has beautiful scenery, and is isolated from the rest of the world, especially at during certain times of the year.  The other hint is with the black and white photos that hang throughout the mansion of upper class people who used to congregate there.  One more hint: the hauntings themselves during the film’s finale.  How is it that the apparitions and visions during the finale differ so much from the previous visions?  Up until then, they were primarily viewed by Danny, and he saw images of victims and blood.  Jack primarily viewed the happier high-life of the upper class of the past.  But once the blood sacrifice is made, Wendy is able to see how the horrors of the past are more affecting the present (after all, she doesn’t have the gift, she isn’t able to see the past or future, but she is able to see the present state of the hauntings since the hotel itself will shine these visions towards her).  And she sees a man dressed in a bear/bulldog costume giving a man in a fancy suit a blowjob.  She sees a man with deep gash at the top of his head saying, “Great party isn’t it?” while toasting a glass towards her.  She sees the dead skeletons in a room that hasn’t been cleaned for decades.  She sees blood gushing out of an elevator.

The color red is all about how much fun one is having.  The Hotel loves Overlooking how much bloodshed is in it, just as the elitist love overlooking the bloodshed in the country.  It wants its sacrifice, it wants its fun.  Note how often the characters in the film are having fun when they are wearing red, or around red.

All of this hints at the stuff the upper class, the “1%,” the big boys club that lives a different lifestyle under a different set of rules than the commoners, who have their own private getaways and their own private parties where they are able to indulge in illegal/forbidden/taboo acts (sound similar to something that was uncovered more recently?).  Another indication is the timing of the past events in this film.  It is stated the construction of the hotel started in 1907.  Historically, in 1907, that was when speculative banking on Wall Street caused an economic crash, which caused banks to panic and call for people like J.P. Morgan to avert an economic disaster.  Which was when an alteration to the monetary system was suggested, amidst high controversy.  At this point, money was on the Gold standard (hence The Gold Room), which is also why the bartender Lloyd tells Jack that “his credit is good” and that “your money is no good here.”  Paper money printed by the Federal Reserve is meaningless and has no value in a society whose currency is backed by Gold rather than the Federal Reserve.  And the Federal Reserve became legally signed into law years later by then-president Woodrow Wilson.  And the significance of 1921?  That’s when Woodrow Wilson’s presidential term ended.  The party was about to change, and it was about to get more strange.

This is why I view this movie as a commentary on history and its effects on society and the present.  All the clues are there to indicate the film can be interpreted as such.  Which brings forth another meaning as to what shining is.  To shine is to see history, to look at events of the past, present, and future.  See into the past, to see how it affects the present, and what can be done in the present to get an intended future.  Thus those who can shine are an allegory for historians.  There are three people who are historians in this.  Danny, Dick, and Jack.  Danny is a boy who is being exposed to history at an early age, primarily the horrific aspects of it, which is having an affect on his psyche.  Dick Hallorann is a black cook who is well experienced with history, has a respect for it, and attempts to ease Danny into it by having him avoid the more terrible aspects by telling him to stay out of Room 237 (telling him there is nothing there, which is a lie); he also tells him that the images are not real, implying they won’t cause any physical harm (which ends up not being the case).  Plus he is someone who grew up with his own history of prejudice, whether amidst the racial tensions of the 1960s (and earlier), or with the hotel itself (the length of his involvement with it is unknown, but it is long enough to know about the history of some of the rooms, maybe even all of them).

And then there’s Jack himself.  Someone who isn’t consciously aware of what the shining is (even though he passed it on genetically to Danny, and even unintentionally awakened Danny’s ability to shine).  But because he is unaware of what it is, he is more easily influenced by it, especially once he gets to the hotel.  Because to be aware of history, to be aware of what you are seeing, what it is, what it means, is to be on guard with it’s influence (such as knowing it’s in the past rather than the present).  But Jack treats everything as if it’s in the here and now, unable to distinguish the past from the present.  You could say he’s being subliminally messaged, subliminally influenced by what he sees during his own shining moments.  This also includes a resurrection of racial prejudices from the past, which can be noted from Grady telling Jack about the “nigger.”  The way Jack repeats the word back to him, like he’s never said it before, maybe not even heard it before; rather confused about the term and it’s usage.  One of the many things these ghosts and elitists are influencing him on.  And who knows how long it has been an influence on him even before he reaches the hotel.  It may have been a contributing factor to him acting somewhat cooky during the first scene of the movie.  Either way, it’s definitely causing him to fly further off the deep end at an accelerated rate (they only stayed at the hotel for a little over a month before we see his spiral become obvious, and he goes completely insane one week later).

History can horrify, history can influence, history can teach.  The images they see, that we see, can do all of that.  They can bring out the best in us (Dick trying to help others with the information he gains through shining), they can bring out the worst in us (Jack), or they could be too much for some to handle (Danny, though in all fairness he does eventually start to handle it in his own way; he does break from his Tony takeover during the finale).  And the film can be taken as an allegory for those who don’t teach history properly, learn history properly, guard themselves from the temptations of the depraved that are found in history, etc.  And the family came into the hotel with their own baggage of bad events, which they haven’t completely moved past.  Or if they had, it was brought back to the forefront to split them apart.  The thing is, Jack already seemed interested in getting away from his family, of being in isolation, so I doubt they completely addressed, resolved, and moved past everything.  The signs are there that they are still affected negatively by their own past.  But there are signs that the historians (those that shine) who are able to see the past and the future (allegory for learning from the past to predict the future) can go about saving others from a dreaded fate. Danny has the means to do the same at some future point in time (he tried to do so in his own way by trying to communicate that there would be a murder in the bathroom where his mother ended up locking herself into), but currently isn’t mature enough to get a solid handle on his powers and potential.  Dick, who is more experienced with such things, comes to the hotel to help the family from some plight after getting a vision about the room 237 ordeal, which ends up giving the mother and son the means to escape in the end (at a sad cost).

The most interesting thing, if one looks into this hard enough (and in all fairness, I learned about this detail from outside sources), Jack can be shown to be subliminally influenced by the hotel during the beginning of the film, outside of any shining activities.  When he can be seen reading a magazine.  And at this point, I’m going to be getting into a very disturbing theory some intelligent folks have come up with when they studied this film in-depth.

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The second headline beneath the title says INCEST: Why Parents Sleep With Their Children.

There is a magazine nearby for Jack to read while he waits at the hotel.  A magazine called PLAYGIRL, which I imagine is the equivalent of Playboy for women.  Strange that he should be reading that.  Then again, we’re not exactly shown what the options are, what other magazines are lying around for hotel guests to read.  But what is particularly strange is that one of the chapters in the magazine is about parents sleeping with their children.  One film analyst named Rob Ager analyzes the idea that Jack was an abusive father who sexually molested Danny, and uses this magazine reference as evidence (one of many alleged pieces of evidence) to indicate this.

Currently, I’m hesitant to completely agree (though I will get into this in some amount of detail compared to Ager’s study).  Ager is only focused on one aspect of this magazine (though Supermarket Sex Fantasy is highlighted in the bottom right), the Incest part.  He doesn’t seem to consider the other details.  For instance, the cursive writing of “Party!” on the upper right side, referencing the party the ghosts want to have with a sacrifice in blood, the color red.  There’s also “The Selling of […] David Soul,” foreshadowing Jack selling his soul for alcohol (and thus selling himself to the hotel).  The “New 7-Day Wonder Diet,” referring to most of the runtime taking place during a 7-day week, when Jack goes on a diet of a kind alright, some kind of “wonder” kind of diet (consuming shining and haunting influences provided courteously by the ghost guests of the hotel).  “Communicate in Bed,” he has a difficult time sleeping due to the shining, and when he does manage to sleep he seems to get nightmares (his howling causes Wendy to rush to his aid and wake him up).  “Tax Dollars Give New Identities To Convicted Criminals,” how the criminals who committed foul deeds in the hotel get reincarnated as new people who will do the process all over again, such as Jack killing his family with an axe all over again (subliminally, this hints at our tax dollars funding government officials who participate in things that happens at hotels like these).  Celebrity’s favorite television commercials, encouraging consumers to buy products advertised by these big corporations who also have parties at places like the hotel (perhaps referencing Jack purchasing booze).  “How To Avoid A Dead-End Affair,” (I’m assuming that last word is “affair”), Jack having a momentary affair with that ghost lady, who is dead.  Just about every headline on that magazine is incorporated into this film in one form or another, all of which involves Jack to an extent.

Now, since that all involves Jack to an extent, that would indicate he did molest his son at one point right?  Ager suggests Jack did this at some point between when he told Danny he loves him and that he would never do anything to hurt him, and the point when Jack is having that nightmare (Saturday to Monday, a two day time period), which he would say was about him chopping up his family.  He also suggests that the scene with Danny entering Room 237 was a dream, and is the same case when Jack enters the room.  In reality, either during the scene where Danny is on Jack’s lap, or just prior to Jack having a bad dream (which Ager suggests was really Jack having a dream about him molesting Danny), that was when Jack forced Danny to give him fellatio.  I’m more likely to believe the latter, considering it’s doubtful he’d be wandering around with a torn shirt and a bruised neck without his mother noticing.  The most convincing evidence I’ve seen to support this theory is Jack’s reaction to seeing Danny come into the room in this state, and Wendy accusing him of doing this to Danny.

It is a baffling reaction unless taken in that context.  Plus Danny is wearing a shirt that suggests his mouth was forcefully penetrated with a phallic object.  The Apollo 11 shirt, which may also be a reference to the Greek God Apollo, who had a homosexual relationship with the son of a king.  Ah, but right there is an indication that this might not be a sign of Jack molesting Danny.  Because in that sense, Apollo would be a metaphor for the ghosts (Gods who don’t belong in the human realm, though they are certainly capable of interacting with it).  In this case, a ghost wanting to interact with Danny on a sexual level (I told you these Greeks got sexually depraved).  The other indicator is early on in the film, after Danny has his vision of the hotel, and wakes up to the child psychiatrist.  And he has his pants removed with his legs bare.  Why is he like this exactly?  Did they find him this way, or were they removed at the behest of the mother or the psychiatrist?  Maybe Danny pissed/shit himself and that’s why they had to remove the clothing?  Either way, it seems to support the idea of the ghosts wanting their way with Danny (if only on a visual thematic level), because there was no indication of Jack being involved in that whole ordeal early on in the film.

Blast off into your mouth, with the indians celebrating.

There are other holes in this theory.  For one thing, with that Playgirls magazine, the “Communicate in Bed” article isn’t exactly something that pertains to Jack directly (unless we’re to ask what his sex life is like with Wendy; but honestly, I can’t picture them doing that at all, they have no romantic chemistry in this film, and not once is any element of eroticism suggested between the two).  It’s something that pertains more to the ghosts invading Jack’s mind, assaulting his mind while he sleeps.  Plus I also don’t buy the whole dream sequence theory.  I don’t buy dream sequences in this movie period.  It is already established that there is shining, and shining is something that would happen in place of any dream sequence.  And shining would explain Jack’s experience in room 237 better than him just dreaming about going into the room.  Plus that also brings up this problem: If Danny didn’t go into room 237, and if Jack didn’t go into room 237, then why bother showing anything within it at all?  Seems like an awful lot of buildup for nothing, especially when Dick seems to have concerns about what is in that room.  The other problem is that this takes away from the presence of the ghosts themselves, and how they are capable of interacting with the physical realm.  It’s already been established that they unlocked the pantry room Wendy locked Jack in, so is it too much too ask that they would also unlock room 237 for Danny (and Jack) to enter?  And there’s the whole issue of Danny having a seizure with his shining experience that is so strong even Dick can feel it (I’m starting to think that first name of his was intentional for the sake of having conversations like these).  Which means Danny is either having that shining experience because of a dream his father is having, or because of a room his father his visiting where he is having his own shining experience.  I’m more willing to believe the latter, because this indicates that a shining experience can be shared between multiple people who have that gift.  Because if it’s not the latter, then it’s the former, which implies Danny can see into Jack’s dreams, which opens up another can of worms with another theory about the movie that Danny is the one responsible for making these visions happen, and is thus the cause of Jack’s shining experiences (a theory I don’t fully buy into either).  And I’m not going to get into that here, other than to mention that the scene with the bear-dog man giving fellatio to an elitist could be interpreted as Danny projecting to his mother an image of the traumatizing experience he had with his father (as opposed to my interpretation that this represents one of the taboo sex acts these elitists do with animals, just as some ancient Greeks did in their time).

Ager also suggests that the “Choking” poster refers to Danny choking on Jack’s… you know.  But that could just as easily refer to the ghost lady strangling Danny (they do express to Jack that they have it in for him).

And this begs the question.  If Jack didn’t molest Danny, then what about all that symbolism, those awkward reactions, that magazine, and all that stuff?  The answer is rather simple (I hope).  The Playgirls magazine references stuff that not only subliminally influences Jack (in the past, present, and future), but also stuff that subliminally influences everyone.  And by everyone, that doesn’t just include Wendy, that also includes us, the viewers.  Why else do you think Jack breaks the fourth wall on several occasions and looks at us viewers through the camera?  Because we are being given subliminal messages through this movie as well, including the idea that Jack is a child molester, when the evidence for it is circumstantial and not clear cut.  Granted, Jack is likely being subliminally messaged to do this to his son, but that doesn’t take away from the theory that this idea is being planted into our heads so that we can think even lesser of him than we did before (which I’m sure not many thought was possible on a first time viewing of this film).  That magazine represents the corporate elite brainwashing the mainstream, so why not implement a bit of that brainwashing on the mainstream viewership in another way?  We know Jack is an irresponsible selfish crazed lunatic, but we don’t know for sure what led him to fully fall into that state.  How much of it was the ghosts subliminally getting to him?  How much of it was his own fault?  How much of it was corporations like those who made the Playgirls magazine?  How much of it was booze?  How much of it was his family (and if it was his family, in what ways)?  It’s not as if he started out this way, otherwise why would Wendy be with him in the first place?  You see what I mean about how it’s not a bad thing to leave details to these characters unexplained so that we don’t know for sure as to the actual state of them?  Yet some judge anyway, because that is safer than pondering the ultimate terror: the unknown.

The Shining - The Carpet Trick
Source

On the other hand, there are many holes and contradictions in this film that tend to make any of these types of theories stand on somewhat shaky ground.  My theory (or theories) as to the state of things in the film, and the messages within it, likely have their own flaws as well.  Just as the hotel has its flaws.  I’m not talking about the past misdeeds that haunt the hotel, I’m talking about structural design and inconsistencies.  This hotel is not physically capable of existing in its current design.  People have tried recreating it by mapping it out based on what is shown in the movie, and they came up with contradictions and impossibilities.  Objects are subtly moved around between takes.  Sometimes doors don’t open and close the way they should.  Even the damn characters seem to somehow move around between certain takes.  There are deliberate contradictions intended to fuck with the most analytical of viewers, and subliminally unsettle the rest.  It is layered enough to where even those who analyze it heavily will have differing opinions about to, and will never come to an agreement over its meaning.

After all, (((they))) can’t have us working together and agreeing on things now can (((they)))?

Great party isn’t it?  I love is so much, my head can’t contain the red blood that wants to burst out of it.

It’s no wonder then that there is an underlying dark sense of humor to this film.  Like Dick having those pictures of naked ladies in his room (so unexpected, considering his nice guy demeanor).  Or the fact the Jack Nicholson plays a character named Jack who orders a Jack Daniels from the bartender.  Or how silly Jack’s facial expressions are, and how some of us can just sit back and laugh at how he acts towards Wendy during that scene where she has the bat and is backing away from him.  Because it’s a world gone crazy, with crazy brainwashed people like Jack being schoolteachers (like Jack was, after he tried to move on from being a failed writer).  Brainwashed people who claim to have responsibilities when they act irresponsibly while others (like Wendy) carry the weight to try and keep things running.  A crazy place like America with elitists running the show just as the ghosts are running the hotel.  And each country has their own ghosts, their own skeletons in the closet, their own depraved history.  Then again, there’s also the globalists who helped establish such institutions as the EU, UN, and Federal Reserve (each country has their own linked version of it), to drive things and influence people into doing things.  To corrupt people, just as the hotel (and others) corrupted the father, and thus the family unit.  Corrupting how others will look at the father figure until they’ve determined that this is normal, that fathers aren’t ever to be trusted.  And there is nothing to do but try to run and escape from this maze, which grows larger by the day.  Soon the whole world will become this labyrinth of which no one can escape, where we will be stuck in here with the crazies, while the crazies in control get to look down on us wandering it and smile their demented smiles.  After all, how do we know for certain that Wendy and Danny actually escaped and got to a safe place?  All we see is them leaving the hotel on a snow mobile, which Wendy likely doesn’t have much experience with, and we see them go into the dark unknown.

 

It’s a world gone mad, and all we can do is sit back and laugh at it like Jack does.

 

 

 

PS: For those who are interested, all that I’ve covered here is only scratching the surface of this film.  If you don’t believe me, may I direct you to the Shone Report:

Schindler’s List (1993) review

Rated: 2 / 5

Rather than telling a story with universal meaning, however, Spielberg has instead made what can only be called a “Jewish” film; that is, a film by Jews, about Jews, and for Jews to use against non-Jews.

Greg Raven

“It’s human nature.  ‘We’ll do this to avoid that.'”

“That’s what they have done since thousands of years.  It’s what they do, they weather the storm.”

“But this storm is different.  This is not the Romans.  This storm is the SS.”

 

This is one of those movies that packed a punch felt through the nation at the time of release.  Everyone talked about this film.  About how it was one of the most important movies ever released.  About how it should be shown to students in school which was almost the case for me when I was in middle school.  Well, those of us who didn’t get to see it in school, we usually found a way to see it outside of school.  Because it was an obligation.  We had to experience what it was like for the Jews in Nazi Germany amidst World War II.  We had to know about the gritty experience, so as to fully appreciate (if that’s the right word for it) that event in history when genocide was committed.  To know the full depravity of humanity.  To know what humans can be like at their lowest levels.  To know what the Nazis were like, and why it is important to know all this hindsight history so as not to repeat it, so as not to create a new generation of a race or religion that has been through a genocide event.  To pity those who survived it, and spit upon those who caused it.  And to thank those who did what they could to help those living through those times to survive.

And what better director to encapsulate all that than Steven Spielberg.  Arguably the movie director most famous for emotional manipulation, particularly ever since Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind (1977, where it was becoming obvious but still slightly restrained) and E.T. (1982, where any restraint he once had had completely diminished).  I do sometimes wonder how often people knew they were being emotionally manipulated, didn’t know, or knew but were willing to go along with it because it was entertainment.  Then again, don’t most films, especially dramas, tend to go for emotional manipulation anyway?  Is that not part of the movie-going experience?  In any case, emotional manipulation or not, it won Oscars, and has been put on virtually every list of “Movies to See Before You Die.”  Quite an achievement, especially since I doubt that’s the only movie of his that has been placed on such lists.

And I was one of those people back in the day, who saw this at a young age, who broke down at the end of it crying and all.  The film got to me, as it has gotten to many others.

So today, I decided to revisit it, on a different level of maturity, criticism, knowledge, and guard against such manipulation that got to me in the past.  And what did I think of it?  Well, that depends on how you look at it.

Judging it purely as a film in-of itself, it’s well-made in terms of camerawork.  Filmed mostly in black and white, and moving amongst people at ground zero to give it an aura of historical authenticity.  The violence that occurs is realistically explicit to maintain this aura, and it certainly had enough extras in it to give the film a semi-epic feel at times.  It’s some of the best camerawork done in film for capturing the elements it depicts in the manner it wished to depict it.  If anyone didn’t know any better, they would say it’s a borderline real-time documentary.

However, the more in-depth thematic elements get laughable in how blunt and obvious they’re implemented, even in the more horrifying moments.  I can give three examples where the film blasts you in the head with it so hard you’ll be seeing stars of David carried by blue birds circling  your head.

1.) When the SS evicted this upper class Jewish couple from their home, and continually cut between Schindler moving into their home, and them moving into the crummy ghetto.  To the point where these lines were uttered between two takes:

Schindler: “It couldn’t be better.”

********************************************

Jew wife: “It could be worse.”

2.) The second time got more eye-rolling than that.  With Schindler’s one-armed semi-senile worker coming to personally thank him for the work and saving his life, before he gets killed in literally the next scene.  Talk about an obvious emotional setup.

3.) The Jews who have been moved in the Krakow forced labor camp, and this line is uttered between a couple women:

“The worst is over.  We’re workers now!” 

In the same scene, this is followed by Amon Goeth shooting the more lazy workers.  Wawahhhhhhh.  Another obvious emotional setup that’s borderline comical when you think about the timing of it.

I mean, Jesus Christ, you’d think Spielberg would pad it out with at least 2 scenes before having the whole waawaaawaaaaahhhhhh moment hit.  Fucking Bridge to Terabithia was more subtle with the foreshadowing and emotional warning than this movie!  And that’s saying a lot!

But anyway, it’s a bit amusing to hear Ralph Fiennes’ character say the line, “Wakey wakey,” to his, uh, girlfriend, after the above segment.  And this seems to be referenced in a later film Ralph Fiennes starred in.  Spider, directed by David Cronenberg.

Other than all that, when one puts aside that the film primarily exists for sympathy points for one race/religion and shame points against another, there really isn’t much more to it than that.  Sure, Schindler goes through this character arc (with each moment of change signified by the girl in the red dress; subtle), and Goeth has his false-redemption angle.  But everyone else, including Ben Kingsley’s character, is about as one note as it gets.  There’s literally no dimension to anybody else in this movie.  They make a marginal effort of trying to add some depth to the jews who became ghetto police (they were known as Ordnungdienst), talking briefly about their position, but it’s never expanded upon other than they exist and they work for the nazis now.  The Nazis are as one-dimensional as you would expect (even to the point where one would play the piano amidst all the shooting in the ghetto), and the Jews are as one-dimensional as they are for entirely different reasons (pure pacifist).

I mean, putting aside the sympathy/shame points, there really isn’t all that much to this film.  Not enough time is spent with the interesting characters to make this all that investing (unless you’re invested in the events as depicted), and because of that the plot didn’t maintain my interest this time around (as opposed to the first time I watched this film many years ago).  Plus I found it questionable that Schindler would make this dramatic of a turn against Germany during the last third of the film when he goes so far as to discourage the workers from making artillery shells that work, and in-effect attempting to sabotage the German war effort (though that being said, from what I’ve researched, he did actually do this to an extent; it’s just that the film doesn’t make his character complex enough to allow for this to seem natural; more on that later).  It’s not one of those movies that ages well past the first viewing or two.  It’s about as surface-level of a movie as you can get.  There isn’t much to dig into.  It gets about as dull as the color scheme.

But in terms of cinematography (though those close-up shots of the faces get very tiring real fast) and camerawork and having actors move about here and there, there is plenty to admire.  So it’s worth a watch for those interested in trying to make a career out of directing.  If nothing else, Spielberg at least knows how to shoot a scene.  It’s just an issue of how much he tries to indulge in the emotional factor.  In this case, he clearly overindulged in the emotional factor more than Tarantino indulged the cult-hip-50s-to-70s factor in, well, anything made after Jackie Brown (Pulp Fiction cut it close).  And whenever a film overindulges in something like that, it doesn’t really hold up all that much.

So the main thing this film really has going for it is the historical significance of the events it covers.  It has entombed itself as the definitive Holocaust film.  For better or worse, that’s all this really has going for it.

Although there is an alternative opinion about that.  By alternative, I mean that it feels the film put more emphasis on Schindler’s character than on the Jew’s plight, and is shallow for that reason instead of vice versa:

Some feel the film, which won a best picture Oscar, serves to embed a narrative of Jewish weakness and passivity, in which Jews were nearly always portrayed as undeserving victims. By choosing to focus on Schindler (Neeson) and the commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Amon Goeth (Fiennes), Spielberg marginalised the Jews to supporting roles (with the exception of Schindler’s accountant Itzhak Stern, played by Kingsley).

Spielberg portrayed them as cardboard cut-outs, a monolithic mass of feebleness, lacking in psychological depth, to be saved or murdered at the whim of the non-Jews. From this point of view, then, Schindler’s List is not about the Holocaust or the Jews at all, but a biopic of Schindler and his conversion from ambivalent antihero to righteous gentile.

Source

Tips For Spring Cleaning | Her Campus

 





 

More needs to be done for Holocaust education, Spielberg said: “It’s not a pre-requisite to graduate high school, as it should be. It should be part of the social science, social studies curriculum in every public high school in this country.”

Source

So this portion of the review won’t be placed on Letterboxd, at least not entirely.  Why?  Because:

Firstly: dangerous fascist and white supremacist ideologies can go to hell. We remove such content from our service regularly. We want to catch it all. We’ve changed our community policy as of today to reflect this, adding in an explicit line rejecting content that “expressly praises, supports, promotes or represents white nationalist ideology”.

Letterboxd terms of service

Anything questioning the holocaust is deemed to be against their community policy, which is why the shadow-banned, then removed, my review of Europa.  Knowing that, I know this portion won’t last on that website.  So, to quote a line from the film being reviewed:

“Not essential?  I teach history and literature!  Since when not essential?”

Parallels between the community policy and depiction of the dangerous Nazi ideology in this film, anyone?  I mean, when you consider how the film portrays one side as pure and innocent while completely demonizing the other without giving them any sense of humanity whatsoever, it’s a lose-lose situation.  From the viewpoint of revisionists and non-revisionists.  Either the Holocaust did happen, and media then and now deem it ok to completely dehumanize Nazis and Germans, without any consideration that these were multidimensional people with flaws and good sides, thus encouraging hatred towards them; and that people are capable of committing that much evil against those of another religion/race regardless of any good they have in them.  Or the Holocaust didn’t happen, and many have been brainwashed into hating on people of a certain race/religion/nationality for something they didn’t do.  Either way you look at it, the worst of humanity has already been demonstrated.  The reason people get so emotional about the historical significance of the Holocaust, whether it happened or not, is because it evokes the worst in humanity, it showcases the worst case scenario of judging other human beings and viewing them as lower lifeforms not worthy of remorse.  The worst part is that many are fully accepting of this simplification, almost as much as many Americans are ok with the acceptance of the simplification of Confederates being one-dimensional black-hating assholes during the Civil War.

So on the note of historical significance…

Judging it as a film that is shown in schools and such as an educational tool to inform those of the Holocaust, it’s one big pile of shit.

 

First of all, the book this film is based on is stated as a work of fiction.  Yet the film tries to pass itself off as being based on a true story with its documentary-like look.  Considering how they offer free screenings of this film from time to time to students for educational purposes, I have to dock a point for that reason.

Second, the film opens (discounting the Jewish song opening) stating that Germany conquered Poland in 2 weeks.  WRONG!  While Germany (which invaded Poland on September 1, 1939) did conquer enough of Poland to ensure it would completely fall to its invasion in a little over two weeks (basically around September 18, 1939), it was closer to 5 weeks when they completely took over Poland and put down virtually all forms of military resistance (October 5, 1939).  And there’s some complex history regarding not just Poland’s relation to Germany and Russia, but also Poland’s relation to the Jews.

After the partition of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union, the Polish government fled the country and established a government-in-exile in London. Polish refugees in eastern Poland faced the prospect of a long exile from home.

When the Soviets annexed eastern Poland, about 300,000 Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland were trapped. The vast majority of these refugees remained in Soviet-occupied Poland. In 1940 and 1941, Soviet secret police officials arrested and deported—as “unreliable elements”—hundreds of thousands of residents of eastern Poland, including thousands of Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland. Those arrested were deported to Siberia, central Asia, and other locations in the interior of the Soviet Union. About 40,000 Jewish refugees continued their flight from Poland, fearing arrest and persecution in either German- or Soviet-occupied territory. More than half of those who fled Poland went to Romania and Hungary. 15,000 went to Lithuania, most to Vilna, Kovno, and the surrounding regions.

[…]

Some refugees could not escape Poland before Soviet and German authorities established their control of the country. By the time some refugees reached the German-Soviet demarcation line as well as Poland’s borders with her neighbors they found both closed and heavily guarded. Some refugees attempted to sneak across, often at great danger. Those caught trying to cross between occupation zones or trying to flee without papers faced arrest and arbitrary violence at the hands of both Soviet and German border guards.

For others, the prospect of permanent exile away from home was overwhelming. Penniless, tired of aimless wandering, and despairing of seeing their families in the German-occupied zone of Poland again, some refugees headed home, back across the German-Soviet demarcation line into German-occupied Poland.

Source

 

However, in the early twentieth century anti-Semitic tensions began to rise. Poverty caused many Poles to oppose the disproportionate role of Jews in their country’s economic elites and intelligentsia. Until his death in 1935, Poland’s de facto ruler Marshal Jozef Pilsudski vigorously opposed anti-Semitic policies. Nonetheless, post-Pilsudski governments officially discriminated against Jews by, for example, excessively taxing them while many universities introduced quota systems to limit the number of Jewish students admitted and conservative organizations boycotted Jewish businesses, thus pauperizing Poland’s Jews.

Source

 

 

Third, Oskar Schindler himself.  Aside from the first third of the movie, his depiction in this film is about as fictional as it gets compared to the real life individual.  Starting with the inconvenient fact that Schindler was working for a powerful Hungarian Jew.

Keneally mentioned that Schindler worked for the powerful Hungarian Jew Rudolf Kastner. Nowhere will this information be found in Schindler’s List because in 1944 Kastner helped Eichmann deport hundreds of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz, in return for favorable treatment for Kastner’s Zionist cronies. The fact of high level cooperation between Nazis and Zionists was too embarrassing to be included in Spielberg’s pro-Zionist film.

Hoffman, Swindler’s Mist

And it doesn’t end there.  Schindler didn’t even have the lists written up in the way depicted in the film.  He was in jail at the time.

But several of the nine separate lists enshrined by history as Schindler’s list were actually compiled by Marcel Goldberg, a corrupt Jewish member of the security police, Prof Crowe reports.

Schindler was hardly in a position to oversee any of the details involved: he had been arrested on suspicion of bribery by SS officers investigating corruption charges against Amon Göth, the concentration camp commander played by Ralph Fiennes in the film.

Source

And there’s more:

Schindler is also accused in the book of having headed a German unit responsible for planning the Nazi invasion of Poland – a far graver allegation than the fact, already known, that he had spied for Germany in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s.

He was described by several of his former employees as an angel. But he was viewed so ambivalently by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust remembrance authority, that it failed to grant him the official status of “righteous gentile” until 1993, when Mr Spielberg’s film was already in production, Prof Crowe wrote. That appears to contradict the Oscar-winning film’s claim that he was granted the status in 1958.

[…]

Since his death in 1974, his legacy has already lost some of its lustre, not least at the hands of his wife, Emilie, who in the months before her death in 2001 gave interviews condemning him as an amoral womaniser who had denied her the credit she deserved for her role in helping to save almost 1,200 Jewish workers.

Source

 

Mr. Crowe said the legend of “the list” arose partly from Schindler himself, to embellish his heroism. He was trying to win reparations for his wartime losses, and Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust memorial organization in Jerusalem, was considering naming him a “righteous gentile,” an honor given to someone who risked death to save Jews.

[…]

It has long been known that Schindler was a spy for German counterintelligence in the late 1930’s, but he played down those activities. Yet Mr. Crowe said that Czech secret police archives refer to Schindler as “a spy of big caliber and an especially dangerous type.” Mr. Crowe also said that Schindler compromised Czechoslovak security before the Nazi invasion and was imprisoned. Later, the Czechoslovak government tried to prosecute him for war crimes. Schindler was also the de facto head of a unit that planned the Nazi invasion of Poland.

[…]

There were also rumors, briefly mentioned in the book and film, that after Schindler moved to Krakow in 1939 as a carpetbagger following the Nazi invasion, he stole Jewish property and ordered Jews beaten. Although the charges were unproven, Mr. Crowe discovered that Yad Vashem was so concerned that it delayed designating Schindler a righteous gentile. The film’s epilogue says Schindler was named in 1958, 16 years before his death in 1974. But Mr. Crowe found that he was officially named in 1993, after Yad Vashem learned that Schindler’s widow, Emilie, who also behaved heroically, was coming to Jerusalem to participate in the film. Both received the honor, he posthumously.

[…]

After the war Schindler was a failure. He squandered money given to him by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and moved to Argentina, where he attempted to breed nutria. He then returned to Germany and bought a concrete factory, where workers attacked him for saving Jews during the war. That factory went bankrupt. Schindler continued drinking, and begged Jews he had saved to help him financially. He died from alcoholism and heavy smoking, Mr. Crowe said.

Source

Schindler did rely on funds from Jewish organizations (such as that named above) after the war, and tried to start up some more businesses afterwards, all of which failed.  He squandered all the money he was given, he didn’t remain faithful to his wife, and he died of liver failure (likely from heavy drinking).  The only thing he kept the jews from were forced labor camps which were only somewhat worse than being at one of his factories (ie not as bad as depicted in the film, which is something Europa and my responses to Myles Power’s videos point out).  And even then, the jew ghetto police also utilized Schindler’s funds to have Jews moved to the more lenient (ie more luxurious by comparison) labor camps when there wasn’t room in Schindler’s factories.  Likely because, near the end of the war, Schindler could tell that Germany was going to lose, especially after the failure of taking Russia, and when the Americans got into the war (June 1944).  And on last note about Schindler, and this is a very very interesting little tidbit Spielberg decided to leave out, which completely goes against the pacifist depiction of the Jews:

Mr. Crowe said that the only part of the film that angered him was the ending, in which Schindler flees as the Russians advance. The Jews are shown as defeated, but in fact, Mr. Crowe said, Schindler had created “an armed guerilla group of Jews.”

“They were armed to the teeth, ready to fight till the death,” he said. Hours after Schindler left, they hung a Jew who worked for the Nazis.

Source

That all being said, this doesn’t mean Schindler was a bad man.  It makes him a complex one, with many layers.  A man who did good things and bad things.  If we were given this character in the film, the film would be a much more interesting one.  He may have been a man who was only helping the Jews and sabotaging the Germans for his own personal benefit knowing the end of the war was nigh, or he may have been doing it out of the good of his heart, or somewhere in-between.  The testimony of his wife seems to indicate the former, but we may never know.  Would be nice to have a film with a portrayal of that character which leaves those viewpoints open to interpretation by the viewer.  Of course, in order for me to fully appreciate that film even with a character like that in it, it can’t portray the Nazis unfairly either.  And as far as I can tell, no modern film (let alone older ones) seems to be capable of doing that, mainly because they all go with the assumption that 6+ million Jews were killed in the Holocaust due largely in-part to the Final Solution, which is something I’ve come to no longer believe.

 

That being said, I don’t buy that the forced labor camps were picnic parties either, even when some revisionist documentaries, including Europa (for all the great insights it provides, it does have some false or misleading info from its biased point of view, as most documentaries do), try to convince people otherwise.  There were labor camps run by reasonable SS leaders, and some were run by terrible SS leaders, such as Karl Otto Koch and Amon Goeth (the latter depicted by Ralph Fiennes in the film as the main antagonist).

The fact that the SS, under orders from Heinrich Himmler, attempted to operate the concentration camps (KZ) in a humane manner, in part by prosecuting, jailing and even executing brutal Nazi concentration camp personnel, has been nearly completely suppressed in much of the discussion of the history of World War Two.

One of the key officers who was instrumental in Himmler’s campaign to attempt to ensure the human rights of KZ inmates, was the heroic and incorruptible SS Judge Konrad Morgen. His testimony follows:

From Affidavit SS-65 by SS Judge Konrad Morgen, IMT Vol. 42, p. 556:

Individual criminal acts – in these cases having broad implications – included: the assumption of a license to kill by commandants and subordinates concealed through falsification of medical death certificates.

Arbitrary conduct, chicanery, unlawful corporal punishments, acts of brutality and sadism, liquidation of no-longer-convenient accomplices, theft and black-market profiteering.

ALL OF THESE OFFENSES WERE COMMITTED both alone by prisoners AS WELL AS BY PERSONNEL OF THE SS, most however in conspiracy between SS personnel with kapos (Jewish concentration camp guards).

The intervention of SS jurisdiction in the concentration camps commenced with the initiation of my investigations in July 1943 and lasted until the conclusion of the war. It could not have started sooner, because there were no suspicions in this regard.

Arrested were the commandants of Buchenwald, Lublin, Warschau, Herzogenbosch, KRAKAU-PLASZOW.

The commandants of Buchenwald and Lublin were shot.

More than a hundred cases were brought to a verdict. Maximum punishments were imposed on members of all ranks.

Source

 

Fourth, the depiction of Amon Goeth.  Well, I’m not going to lie.  From what I’ve gathered, he is about as big of an asshole as depicted in the film.  However, the film depicts both him and the Germans as if they were the rule rather than the exception.  This was not the case:

Although there were orders to administrators from the National Socialist government that concentration camp inmates were not to be brutalized, the camps themselves varied from well-run, fundamentally decent places of confinement, to pure hell-holes, depending to a large degree on the quality of the Nazi leadership in each concentration camp. Some commandants such as Amon Goeth and Karl Otto Koch were little more than criminals, while others like Hermann Pister were incorruptible and supervised the most humane facilities they could under the circumstances, given the scarcity of food and medicine in wartime Germany under conditions of saturation bombing by the Allied air forces.

There are many instances of attempts by the German military to secure humane conditions within the concentration camps. For example, in 1943 SS Judge Konrad Morgen of the Haupt Amt Gericht (SS-HAG) was assigned to investigate and prosecute brutality at Buchenwald. Morgen was so successful in correcting conditions there that Himmler gave him an expanded staff and unlimited investigative authority in the camps. Morgen’s next target of inquiry was Krakau-Plaszow and its commandant, Amon Goeth, the arch-fiend of Speilberg’s film.

In Schindler’s List Morgen’s entire investigation of Goeth was reduced to a scene in which fleeting reference is made to Goeth having his books “audited.” If you blinked, you missed it. The crucial truth that Steven Spielberg withheld from his audience is that in September of 1944, Goeth was arrested by the Central Office of the SS Judiciary and imprisoned on charges of theft and the murder of concentration camp inmates.

Hoffman, Swindler’s Mist

Hoffman never made it to a trial in Germany though, as he was arrested near the end of the war, Germany had other things to worry about, and they lost the war.  So Hoffman had to face justice at the hands of the Polish rather than at the hands of the Germans.

And on another note, he didn’t have the authority to execute those working at the camp.  And even more interesting, he wasn’t tried as a Nazi when he did go to trial in Poland post WWII, mainly because he wasn’t in a high command position.  They had to make up a new law for trying someone like him.

As the commandant of the Plaszow camp, Goeth had been ordered to carry out the executions that were ordered by others. These executions took place at the Plaszow camp. The people who were executed were not prisoners in  the Plaszow camp.

According to David Crowe’s book, entitled Oscar Schindler,  Wilek Chilowicz was a Jewish prisoner, who was the head of the OD, the Jewish police at Plaszow. Crowe wrote that “Göth sought permission to murder Chilowicz and several other prominent OD men in the camp on false charges.”

In all the Nazi concentration camps, the staff had to get permission from headquarters in Oranienburg to punish a prisoner, but punishment did not include murder.

Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen was a Waffen-SS officer and attorney, whom Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had put in charge of investigating murder, corruption and mistreatment of prisoners in all the Nazi concentration camps in 1943. Dr. Morgen’s first investigation had resulted in the arrest of Karl Otto Koch, the Commandant of Buchenwald, and his later execution by the Nazis.

According to David Crowe’s book, Goeth asked one of his SS officers, Josef Sowinski, to prepare a detailed, false report about a potential camp rebellion led by Chilowicz and other OD men. Based on this report, Koppe sent a secret letter to Goeth giving him the authority to carry out the execution of Chilowicz and several other OD men. The execution took place on August 13, 1944; Goeth was arrested exactly a month later and charged by Dr. Morgen with corruption and brutality, including the murder of Wilek Chilowicz and several others.

[…]

After World War II ended, the American military turned Amon Goeth over to the Polish government for prosecution as a war criminal. He was brought before the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland in Krakow. His trial took place between August 27, 1946 and September 5, 1946. Goeth was charged with being a member of the Nazi party and a member of the Waffen-SS, Hitler’s elite army, both of which had been designated as criminal organizations by the Allies after the war. His crimes included the charges that he had taken part in the activities of these two criminal organizations. The crime of being a Nazi applied only to Nazi officials, and Goeth had never held a job as a Nazi official. In fact, at the time of Goeth’s conviction by the Polish court, the judgment against the SS and the Nazi party as criminal organizations had not yet been made by the Nuremberg IMT.

At Goeth’s trial, the Nazi party was said to be “an organization which, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, through aggressive wars, violence and other crimes, aimed at world domination and establishment of the National-Socialist regime.” Amon Goeth was accused of personally issuing orders to deprive people of freedom, to ill-treat and exterminate individuals and whole groups of people. His crimes, including the newly created crime of genocide, came under a new law of the Allies, called Crimes against Humanity.

Source

The point being, his acts and methods were cruel enough to where even the SS had to arrest him and see him punished.  That, and because he was stealing stuff on the side from the Jews, which is something I believe was supposed to go straight to the Nazi party to help fund the German war effort or something.

And on another more minor note, it wasn’t geographically possible for Goeth to snipe Jews from the second story of his house.

 

Fifth, the ghetto jew police (Ordnungdienst / Ordnungsdiest), and the pacifist nature of the jews in the film.  Regarding the German Jewish police, “they were supervised by Polish guards and armed German police to ensure that they performed their tasks correctly and with appropriate strictness,” (Source).  Despite that, there’s a chance they weren’t all that, eh, honorable, since it’s been reported they were “ruthless killers” at times (still need to verify this, so take that information with a grain of salt).

As for the Jews being completely pacifist and meek, that’s a load of bull:

According to Thomas Keneally’s novel, after the first liquidation in 1942, in which many of the Jews escaped, the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB), a group of resistance fighters, bombed the Cyganeria Restaurant and killed 7 German SS soldiers. Next, the SS-only Bagatella Cinema was bombed in Krakow. In the next few months, the ZOB sank German patrol boats on the Vistula, fire-bombed German military garages in Krakow and derailed a German army train, besides forging papers and passports for Jews to pass as Aryans.

In the movie, the date of the scene where Mrs. Dresner hides has been changed to the day of the final liquidation of the ghetto on March 13, 1943.  The movie gives the impression that the Jews were killed for no reason and does not mention what the Jews did in the Resistance.

[…]

According to the novel, Schindler’s Ark, around 4,000 Jews were found hiding in the Podgorze ghetto during the final liquidation and they were executed on the spot. However, during the postwar trial of Amon Goeth, one of the charges against him was that 2,000 Jews were killed during the liquidation of the Podgorze ghetto.

According to the novel, the Jews, who managed to escape from the ghetto, joined the partisans of the Polish People’s Army, who were hiding in the forests of Niepolomice.

Unlike the novel, the movie Schindler’s List does not mention the Jewish resistance fighters, who fought as partisans throughout the war.  In the movie, the Jews are portrayed as totally harmless, so there was no reason for the Nazis to shoot them as they were trying to escape.

Thomas Keneally, who is a native of Australia, mentioned in his novel that in 1944, an Australian plane was shot down by the Germans over Oskar Schindler’s factory; the plane was dropping supplies to the Jewish and Polish partisans in the forest east of Krakow, according to Keneally.

Krakow had been populated by Jews for 600 years before the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, and the Jews had been discriminated against for years, before the Nazis arrived.

In 1494, there was a  fire in Krakow which was blamed on the Jews; this was the start of pogroms against the Jews.  Because of this, the King of Poland ordered the Jews in the city of Krakow to be resettled in the district of Kazimierz. During World War II, the Nazis ordered the Jews to move out of Kazimierz, into a ghetto in the Podgorze district, which was  across the river Vistula.

Source

So yeah, history is not all that one-dimensional, not as this film depicts it.

 

On that note, some other tidbits concerning where the hatred of the jews came from (aside from the bankers who influenced the laws and the nations, which Europa covers):

You need to understand the true story of what happened to the German people living in these German lands From 1918 to 1939… Twenty years of systematic oppression, taxation, killing, murder, torture, terrorizing, persecution, impoverishment under jews.

This is another part of the true history of Europe which has been covered up and buried. The jews who flocked to Versailles and gained a special dispensation for an independent Polish nation to be recognized: did this because Poland had been jewified and was under total jewish control. It was the closest thing they could get to having their own land and their own jewish nation. Jews had been intermarrying into Polish high society for CENTURIES; for 100’s of years until they had become thoroughly accepted into Polish culture and society: Until Poland became known worldwide as “The Land of The Jews”… And from this jewified nation: their offspring spread like lice on a rat’s ass all over the diseased body of Europe: into Germany and especially into key appointments of power in the occupied territories which had been so ‘generously’ ‘given’ to various other nations by the scum who wrote the Versailles Treaty. The result of the Versailles Treaty: was a systematic racist program of discriminatory laws inflicted by the jews in power over their German victims for twenty years in every land stolen from Germany after WW2….

But to understand why this happened… You need to go even further back into European History and understand just why the jews hated the Germans so much… The reason for their racist hatred was because Germany was the last… I repeat, Germany was the LAST nation in Europe to grant emancipation to jews: the right to own property and the right to vote. Germany: the states and duchies of German speaking people kept their jews locked up in ghettos. Far longer than any other nation in Europe the Germans kept the jews apart from their society and did not allow them to infiltrate or intermarry into their society. For this: the jews invented a special vile racist hatred against all Germany and all German people. This was why when they were granted emancipation, when they did gain power over Germans: they became the most brutal, subhuman overseers of any oppressed people in Europe…

So now! jump back to the lands Hitler freed the once-German lands from Jewish control and oppression between 1935-1939. Most of the jews in these lands were of Polish origin. They were Polish jews wreaking ‘revenge’ on a hapless German people who had their rights taken away from them and their land taken away from them. In nearly all cases, they were jews of Polish extraction. Even the jews living in Vienna and Austria had nearly all originally come from Poland. Then suddenly the Anschluss happened. The German victims of jewish oppression were given back their rights, their land and their power!… and in every case: each land that was freed from Jewish rule: DEPORTED their jews by force: they stripped them of their titles, property and wealth and put them on trains.

Source

 

 

One more thing.  The whole propaganda regarding the mass execution of the Jews.

We will therefore find that examination of stories
concerning alleged Jewish extermination that appeared in the New York Times,
spring 1942 through 1943, together with a summary of 1944 propaganda,
which will be presented in Chapter 5, is all that is required to get a satisfactory
conception of the propaganda.

[…]

February 14, 1943, p. 37: “EXECUTION ‘SPEED – UP ’ SEEN
Mass executions of Jews in Poland on an accelerated tempo was re-
ported by European representatives of the World Jewish Congress in a
communication made public by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the
American Jewish Congress.
In one place in Poland 6,000 Jews are killed daily, according to the re-
port, dated Jan. 19. Jews left in Poland are now confined in fifty-five ghet-
tos, some in the large towns and some in the smaller towns that have been
transformed into ghettos.”
This was the propaganda story involved in the conflict between State and
Treasury. As noted in connection with the remarks on the Times editorial of
December 18, if this story had managed to emerge from the State Department,
greater credibility would, apparently, have been attached to it. Unfortunately
for the propaganda inventors at the time, they had to settle for Rabbi Wise as
ostensible source.

[…]

April 12, 1943, p. 5: “NAZIS ERASE GHETTOS IN TWO POLISH CITIES
London, April 11 (AP) – The Polish Telegraph Agency said tonight that the Germans had erased the ghetto at Krakow in a three-day massacre that started March 13, and also had eliminated the ghetto in Lodz.

The fate of the Jews in the latter city was unknown, but the agency said it was believed they also were killed.”

Because almost all Jews outside the Continent, particularly those in the
U.S., believed the extermination claims, they brought political pressures which
resulted in the Bermuda Conference. It was believed, 161 correctly, that the Na-
zis wished the emigration of the Jews from Europe (under appropriate condi-
tions), and this put the British and American governments, on account of the
propaganda basis for their war, into an awkward position, around which they
were obliged to continually double-talk. 162 We have described the conflict be-
tween State and Treasury in this regard. The British had, at that point, no in-
tention of opening Palestine, and both the British and Americans had no inten-
tion of providing the resources, in the middle of the war, for massive opera-
tions undertaken for reasons that were valid only to the degree that their prop-
aganda was taken seriously. No sane modern statesmen believe their own
propaganda. This is the dilemma, which J. Breckenridge Long and other State
Department officials felt themselves facing.

[…]

The allegations of exterminations of Jews do not appear to have had great importance to the public during the war, if one judges from the lack of any prominence given to such stories. Another way to express it is to say that if one spends some time examining the newspapers of the time, a high degree of hostility to the Nazis is obvious, but the specific basis of the hostility is virtually impossible to distinguish. Thus, there is something of an emotional nature missing from our survey, but this is unavoidable.  Two principal observations should be made in regard to the extermination propaganda. First, the legend has its origin among Zionists and, second, Auschwitz was not claimed as an extermination camp until very late in the war.

We have seen that the first extermination claims were not based on one
scrap of intelligence data. Zionists, principally the World Jewish Congress,
merely presented their nonsense to the Allied governments, in particular to the
U.S. government, demanding endorsement of their nonsense. The first reac-
tions in Washington were to scoff at the claims but, on account of various po-
litical pressures, and only on account of those pressures and not because cor-
roborating information had been procured from military intelligence, official
Washington eventually cooperated with the extermination propaganda to the
extent of having high officials make vague public declarations in support of it,
and of having propaganda agencies make more specific declarations of an ob-
scure nature. The early propaganda had features which are retained in the leg-
end to this day, such as the six million figure, and also features which were
quickly forgotten, such as the soap factories, although both features were au-
thored by the same Zionist circles.

— Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 4th ed.  Castle Hills Publishers.  February 2015 p.112, 114, 123-124

Anyway, for more information about how Spielberg’s depiction of the Holocaust is rubbish, when going outside the film itself, you can see a debunking of a documentary Spielberg made titled The Last Days where 5 Holocaust survivors were interviewed and given their point of view of events.  The documentary that debunks this documentary (by showcasing the faulty testimony of the people in the documentary) is titled Spieleberg’s Hoax: The Last Days of the Big Lie.

And an Ernst Zundel interview where he bashes on the film for various reasons (I did find his taking offense at the “boobs and butts” to be rather funny).  But it’s insightful for him to mention that the burning of the bodies (an event with an insane orchestral score in the film, to give the impression that you should feel shocked and sad at what you are seeing; Chujowa Gorka, April 1944) was to prevent disease spreading from the dead bodies, thus a health measure.  And that bodies had to be dug up and burned because they were poisoning the groundwater.  That, and crematoriums weren’t supposed to emote much smoke or smell, despite what the film depicts.  And even German SS bodies (and the wives of German soldiers) who died of disease or typhus had to be burned along with any dead Jews at these crematoriums.  And it questions the “number” of people that would have to be burned day by day in order to match up with the official numbers given to the holocaust amidst all this.

Lastly, a video of Jews giving their testimony on the holocaust that tends to contradict officially accepted mainstream views.

 

PS: One more little tidbit I found interesting from the film:

“Ah, an educated Jew.  Like Karl Marx himself.”

Huh, cool to see the film admits that fun fact.

 

 

Sources

Amon Goeth liquidates the last Jews in Krakow ghetto

https://www.grunge.com/142302/the-true-story-about-oskar-schindler-from-schindlers-list/

https://www.big-lies.org/jews/jews-poland-revisionism.html

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/german-invasion-of-poland-jewish-refugees-1939

Re-examining Spielberg’s Portrayal of Polish-Jewish Relations

https://sites.google.com/a/csumb.edu/hcom352-schindlers-list-1993/historical-accuracy-of-the-film

https://www.thejc.com/culture/features/is-schindler-s-list-fatally-flawed-1.43304

https://www.revisionisthistory.org/shindler.html

https://www.revisionisthistory.org/revisionist6.html

http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/schindler-01.html

http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/appendix-1-01.html

Hoffman, Michael A., and Alan R. Critchley.  “Swindler’s Mist: Spielberg’s Fraud in Schindler’s List”.  January 1, 2001.  https://codoh.com/library/document/488/

swindlers mist

ScrapbookPages Blog.  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/did-amon-goeth-have-the-authority-to-order-executions/

Burkeman, Oliver, and Ben Aris.  “Biographer takes shine off Spielberg’s Schindler”.  The Guardian.  November 25, 2004.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/25/germany.film

Smith, Diitia.  “Book Adds Layers of Complexity to the Schindler Legend”.  The New York Times.  November 24, 2004.  http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Schindler/OOF1104.html

Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, 4th ed.  Castle Hills Publishers.  February 2015

Europa: The Last Battle (2017) review

So today is April 20th.  A day of infamy.  Where everyone is encouraged to roll a joint and smoke it; bake a batch of edibles and eat ’em.  It’s international pot day!  It’s a day to celebrate!

It’s also Hitler’s birthday.  The man who has been considered the most vile, racist, fascist, inhumane villain ever known to man (some would consider him worse than Stalin).  The man who founded the Nazis.  The man responsible for the Holocaust.  The man responsible for attempting to take over Europe.  The man responsible for making plans for Nazis to set up a base on the moon and eventually take over the world.  Well ok, that last bit might be a bit over the top.

Actually, there are those who say that virtually everything in the previous paragraph is over the top, minus the birthday.  That he wasn’t as villainous as many were and are taught.  That there wasn’t really a Holocaust.  That he wasn’t planning on taking over Europe, then the world, then the moon.  How much of that is true and how much of it isn’t?  Well, a documentary certainly aims to tell as much.

 

Rated: 4 / 5

Understand that any film we credit with changing the world is a distraction. Films don’t change the world. They react to changes in the world.

Sally Jane Black

I disagree with the above quote.  Because it’s been proven that propaganda can sway minds and thus influence a change in a community, in a nation, and in the world.  And they don’t necessarily react to changes either, they can cause these changes.  Many wouldn’t disagree that The Birth of a Nation (1915) made some changes in the United States, breathing new life into the Ku Klux Klan, which stuck around decades afterwards before dissipating again (except in the movies where they are bashed, which seems to happen roughly once a year).  But an even bigger reason to disagree with it is because those who have owned all the major film studios since that very era have pretty much all been Jews.  That in of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since we all like a good movie.  But we do certainly see their influence throughout history.  Same thing with documentaries like Blackfish which affected Seaworld.  Or Super Size Me, which impacted McDonalds.

For instance, the first major film to be released with actual audio (as in you hear what people say or sing) is The Jazz Singer (1927).  In the film, a man who has been rejected by his father because of what he sings, eventually decides to use his voice at a Jewish event to help lift his father’s spirits; so that his father doesn’t die from some bout of depression or something.

And…

Eh, I just don’t have the willpower to type up anything fancy, so I’ll just say what this documentary is.  It’s a long 10+ hour documentary divided into 10 parts (sort of).  It’s not professionally made.  It’a basically a glorified youtuber documentary.  Well that’s not entirely accurate considering YouTube won’t allow this documentary on their site.  But hey, there’s always BitChute (thank God for alternative platforms).  Mostly made by 1 guy by the looks of things.  But he certainly did pool his information from an assload of sources.  Various books, film, podcasts, documentaries, etc.  All of which are listed at the end of the last episode.  The episode lengths vary from 35 minutes to 2 hours (though only episodes 8 and 9 go that long).

And is the documentary overlong?  Kind of.  There are 2 episodes, maybe 3, that could’ve used some trimming.  Here’s basically what the documentary does that bugged me with some of these excessive sequences.  It talks about some event that caused a lot of pain and suffering to a lot of people, and then spends no less than 10 minutes (maybe even 30) showing interviews with these “survivors” who talk about the event(s) and cry about it.  Because this documentary really wants to hit you over the head with that sadness.  In all fairness, these are sad moments.  But they could’ve been condensed.  The point had already been made.  This doesn’t happen regularly, so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t ruin the whole documentary.  But the second half of the first episode is basically like this, and it can be off-putting to some who would even dare try to watch this thing in the first place.  But stick with it.  You’ll want to at least make it through episode 8 to get the brunt of the impact of this documentary.

And what is this documentary?  Well, for the most part, it basically tells the story of World War II from a perspective you are guaranteed not to have been taught in any school or any university.  But it does more than that, it also covers the Bolshevik Revolution (and how that started and who started it), it covers World War I, it covers the Holocaust, and it then basically jumps ahead to some modern day messages about the current state of things (most of which is basically repetition to those who have been taking a good look at the state of the world through sources that aren’t considered mainstream).  But the main thing it does is state who was behind much of these catastrophic events and world wars.  The Jews, who wanted to establish the dreaded “New World Order,” along with an Ethnostate run by Jews and only occupied by Jews (Israel) to eventually, long term, control the world under a world Communist government.

Yeah, I know, I know, antisemitism, racism, fascism, blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all before, and you’ve heard it all before.  But you likely haven’t heard much of what is in the documentary before.  And it’s worth watching for that alternative perspective.  Because this perspective fills in some gaps that I’ve wondered about ever since learning about these events in school.  Plus it provides a very compelling case that much of what we have been told has been a lie, and provides alternative (or additional) facts that are very much worth pondering.

It’s best if I break it down episode by episode.

“First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.”

Episode 1: Primarily states that Jews were the ones that founded these major banks that have their tentacles in everything today, and have always been controlled by Jews.  Just to name one example: the Rothchilds.  The same organization stated to have created the Federal Reserve, which the U.S. has based its currency on ever since Woodrow Wilson allowed that to be in the 1910s.  In addition, it states that the people who organized, led, and funded the Bolshevik Revolution were Jews.  Because the Jews also founded Communism (and yes, Karl Marx was Jewish too).  Thus when Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks into taking over Russia, they turned Russia from Christian to Communist.

Episode 2: Basically talks about how it was those elitist Jews that started World War I in order to get a further grip on Europe (particularly Germany), and spread Communism.  And how the Treaty of Versailles made Germany lose parts of its country, and pay an insane amount of financial reparations for the war.  During post WWI, Germany was in dire straight, where everyone was in poverty and suffered, and how their society became corrupted with, well, similar stuff that many say is corrupting the U.S. today.  Either way you look at it, the Germans were suffering.

Episode 3: Hitler’s rise to power, how he eventually managed to overthrow the current rulers of Germany, kick out the elitist Jews that were running the financial system (basically the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Reserve), and establish a Nationalist-Socialist form of government with its own independent financial system that brought Germany out of poverty and reparation payments.  And transformed Germany into an economic powerhouse.  Even those who believe Hitler was an evil son of a bitch have to admit that this achievement was nothing short of incredible, transforming the nation from one hopelessly in debt to being the most efficient and powerful economy in the world next to the United States in less than a decade.  And then the episode goes on about how it was the best of times, that it was the ideal place to live in, blah blah blah.

Episode 4-5: Well, the Jews weren’t going to stand for this.  They did allegedly want world control after all.  So they can’t have a strong independent nation that doesn’t base their currency on elitist Jew controlled world banks now could they?  So they use their communist influence (as they had communist infiltrators within just about every country, including the U.S.; something Andrew McCarthy tried to fight post-WWII) to get other countries to go to war with Germany.  Starting with Poland, then France and the U.K., and eventually Russia (though Hitler managed to get Stalinist Russia to maintain a peace pact between them for a while before Russia eventually decided to turn on Germany).  And it portrays Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill as major assholes who were influenced by elitist Jews.  As for the Jews in Germany, Hitler did propose a “Final Solution,” but it wasn’t to exterminate the Jews.  Rather, it was to relocate them to Madagascar.  That plan fell through for various reasons.  The documentary also points out how other nations (ie Axis powers) were so inspired by Germany’s sense of nationalism that they were willing to fight for Germany’s cause against the Allies.  What is especially interesting is that there were Jews in Hitler’s army, fighting for his cause, intentionally.  One of the reasons why the documentary points out that it is important to distinguish the elitist Jews from the regular Jews (who may or may not have supported the elitist cause, or even be Communist).

Episode 6: Part of the insurance for winning the war was to eventually get the U.S. involved.  While Roosevelt did want to go along with that plan, America wasn’t exactly pro-war at the time, despite some communist propaganda and front groups (elements of this are backed by a novel I read a portion of titled Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, by M. Stanton Evans).  But then came Pearl Harbor, which was apparently arranged by elitist/communist Jews who had political connections to influence the leaders.  Once that attack took place, that caused American sentiment to turn from anti-war to pro-war.  So they went to war with Japan and Germany (and Italy).  This was the nail in the coffin for Germany, as they had no hope of winning after failing to take the capital of Russia during their initial attack and push (which happened as a result of Hitler learning that Russia was planning on breaking the pact and secretly attacking Germany).  And it was even worse off for Germany once they lost the Battle of the Bulge.  And the Allies firebombed the ever-loving hell out Germany, indiscriminately hitting both the military and civilian population.

Episode 7: Apparently, there was a more effective way to enter Germany and get to the capital city of Berlin besides what the Allies actually did with D-Day.  But they intentionally took the long and hard way through.  Why?  So that Russia could have more time to push westward and be the first to take Germany’s capital.  Why let the Russians get there first?  So they could massacre the population.  The Russians were more brutal than the Germans, and I think even mainstream sources would be willing to admit this.  It was arranged that Russia would rape and pillage and kill their way towards Germany’s capital, where they would continue to do the same.  This frustrated certain military commanders, such as Patton who wondered why they weren’t driving into Germany more efficiently, and why they were receiving orders to halt on occasion.

And then came the post-war.  Even the mainstream narrative can’t disagree with this aspect.  Post-war, the allies treated the Germans in such an inhumane and deplorable manner it baffles the mind.  While it is alleged the Germans killed six million Jews during the Holocaust (something the next episode would address), the Allies caused the death of roughly 9 million Germans during a 6 year period after the war (outnumbering the number of Germans killed during the war).  Via slave labor camps (ie gulags, death camps, some of which were Eisenhower camps) among other reasons.  It was at this point that I thought this was pure incomprehensible insanity; that made me feel ashamed.  And these motherfuckers had the balls to use the piles of German bodies from these camps as historical photos claiming them to be a part of the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

In order to help rebuild Germany, there was a forced deportation of Germans from the U.S. (among other countries) to Germany that totaled between 11-12 million.  To help rebuild.

Are you a man of peace
Or a man of holy war
Too many sides to you
Don’t know which anymore
So many full of life
But also filled with pain
Don’t know just how many
Will live to breathe again

A life that’s made to breathe
Destruction or defense
A mind that’s vain corruption
Bad or good intent
A wolf in sheep’s clothing
Or saintly or sinner
Or some that would believe
A holy war winner

They fire off many shots
And many parting blows
Their actions beyond a reasoning
Only God would know
And as he lies in heaven
Or it could be in hell
I feel he’s somewhere here
Or looking from below
But I don’t know, I don’t know

More pain and misery in the history of mankind
Sometimes it seems more like
The blind leading the blind
It brings upon us more famine, death and war
You know religion has a lot to answer for

And as they search to find the bodies in the sand
They find it’s ashes that are
Scattered across the land
And as the spirits seem to whistle on the wind
A shot is fired somewhere another war begins

And all because of it you’d think
That we would learn
But still the body count the city fires burn
Somewhere there’s someone dying
In a foreign land
Meanwhile the world is crying stupidity of man
Tell me why, tell me why

Please tell me now what life is
Please tell me now what love is
Well tell me now what war is
Again tell me what life is

For the greater good of God

— Iron Maiden, For The Greater Good of God

 

Episode 8: And this was the episode that dealt with the Holocaust itself.  It’s one of those episodes you need to see for yourself to get a real grasp of it.  But in general, it basically states that the Holocaust was a lie.  That the “6 million” number was invented long before WWII, that this sacred number can be found in the Jewish book The Talmud itself.  And it was used as propaganda to claim that the Germans were killing that many Jews in Germany even before the Allies could enter that country to confirm this.  As for the “concentration camps,” if you could call them that, there were no gas chambers.  There were shower rooms, and mini-gas chambers used to disinfect clothing, as there tended to be a buildup of lice and diseases if there wasn’t some form of disinfectant (they often sprayed insect-killer on the jews in the camps).  The prisoners were not treated all that harshly.  And the reason many of them were put in these camps in the first place because 98% of them were communists or communist sympathizers (because the elitist Jews were all about control through Communism).  Any serious investigation of these camps proves that there weren’t any gas chambers or mass graves or anything like that.  However, there were plenty of deaths near the end of the war.  Because the Allied bombing runs eventually hit German supply routes, leaving the camps unable to gain supplies, causing many of the prisoners to starve to death, and for the German troops charged with running the camps to abandon them.  There’s more to it than that, but there’s no real way to explain it all in an adequate fashion without reading a book dedicated to it (virtually all of which have been banned from Amazon and any major retailers), or watching some documentary telling it from this perspective (like this one).

Episode 9-10: Basically epilogue episodes that go on for too long, discussing the present day situation and what the elitist Jews that run the major banks, the United Nations, the European Union, and Israel.  How they want globalism, 3rd wave feminism, inclusion, diversity, mass-migration, destruction of culture, etc.  Everywhere except in Israel (or China for that matter, so far).  Their plans for expanding the size of Israel westward towards Egypt.  And the slow awakening of nationalism in various parts of the world as a backlash against these globalist policies.

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So, yeah.  This documentary has some heavy stuff.  Stuff that is usually dismissed as “revisionist history,” racist nonsense, pro-fascist.  Dismissed without even giving it a thought.  In Europe, it’s illegal to even question the legitimacy of the Holocaust, which makes me even more suspicious of it and more willing to believe the stuff in this documentary.  And the way it’s presented, it’s very very convincing.

However…

… there are some problems here with it.  You have to take into account that every documentary tends to have some element of bias.  And the bias of this documentary tends to overlook that Germany was nationalist to a fault at some points.  For example, the White Rose movement.  How the people (primarily German school students) in that anti-war movement were prosecuted and killed in Germany for spreading anti-war propaganda.  And I doubt that’s the only instance of a German atrocity committed (though I’m willing to listen to those who wish to debunk that, or other alleged atrocities, like how this documentary debunked the Diary of Anne Frank, and the Holocaust).  I’m always suspicious of anything that tries to portray some individual, or some party, some nation, etc., under an angelic light.  And that’s what I was getting with episode 3 primarily.  It was so in love with Hitler and what he did with Germany I’m pretty sure the guy who made the documentary wanted to suck Hitler’s cock.  There’s no such thing as a perfect nation.

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That being said, I don’t find it far-fetched that Hitler and the Nazis were villianized beyond how they were in reality.  Especially considering where much of the information we gained regarding the Holocaust came from.  Especially considering that, if this New World Order run by elitist communist Jews is to be believed, the Jews own or control roughly 98% of all television networks, major movie studios, major news networks, and major newspapers.  Especially considering how questioning some aspects of this established history is a crime in Europe.  Especially considering how Europe has now passed laws that are going to make a stranglehold on the Internet, censoring sites for “hate speech” among other things (the definition of which is whatever the elites feel like making it).  I mean, just the number of anti-Nazi films that come out on a yearly basis seems to indicate they really want to keep anti-nazi sentiment fresh in everyone’s minds very very badly; even going so far as to promote the idea that “it’s ok to punch a nazi.”  All so that no one will take inspiration for how successful Germany became on an economic and cultural level because of their national-socialist policies (even the word “Nazi” was a slang term created to insult that party).

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If even half of the stuff this documentary teaches is true, and it certainly seems like most of it is, then it is a must watch just for the sake of hearing the other side of the story.  To gain another perspective.  To grasp the bigger picture of history.  Or at the very least be familiar with the arguments “revisionists” have.  This is not only a recommended watch, it’s a necessary one.

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Though that being said, there are portions of episodes 1, 3, and 9 that you’ll probably find yourself skipping through (there’s a portion of each of those episodes where the information gets monotonous).

“You watch those nature documentaries on the cable?  You see the one about lions? Look at this lion. He’s the king of the jungle, huge mane out to here. He’s laying down under a tree, in the middle of Africa. He’s so big, he’s so hot. He doesn’t want to move.

“Now the little lion cubs, they start messing with him. Biting his tail, biting his ears. He doesn’t do anything. The lioness, she starts messing with him. Coming over, making trouble. Still: nothing. Now the other animals, they notice this. And they start to move in. The jackals; hyenas.

“They’re barking at him, laughing at him. They nip his toes, and eat the food that’s in his domain. They do this, and they get closer and closer, and bolder and bolder. ‘Til one day, that lion gets up and tears the shit out of everybody. Runs like the wind, eats everything in his path. ‘Cause every once in a while, the lion has to show the jackals who he is.”

The War on Film Culture: Part 5: For the Children (1916-1917)

Utilitarianism (noun): A theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number — Merriam Webster

Paternalism (noun): A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities. — The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

American-made film exports rose from 36 million in 1915 to 159 million by 1916. By the end of WWI, the U.S. produced roughly 85% of the films shown around the world, and produced roughly 98% of the films shown in America (prior to this, the international film market was having more of an an influence in the American market).

June 15, 1917, Congress passed the The National Vocational Education Act, subsequently known as the Smith-Hughes Act.  Developed by Senator Hoke Smith and Representative Dudley M. Hughes of Georgia, this act was passed in response to those advocating for vocational education, to reform the way education was done so that it would, in theory, make America more globally competitive, economically-speaking, by being more efficient at how it taught and trained youth for industrial jobs.  This act allowed for federal funding of states with schools which offered vocational education.  In the long-term, mainly during the early 1980s, the results of this act were mixed.  It was shown that the job training provided by the programs created as a result of this law tended to be outdated compared to present needs of various industries.  There was also unintended consequences of segregation.  Not just with what tracks blacks and whites would take, not just with what tracks were designated for girls and boys, but also due to the class status of the students.

However, there was to be a string attached.  January 1916, a bill was proposed for the creation of the Federal Motion Picture Commission.

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The Senate and House majority was Democrat.  Dudley M. Hughes would request a revision to the Smith-Hughes act he initially helped write.  This revision intended to create a new division of the Bureau of Education.  The division would be called the Federal Motion Picture Commission, a commission intended to regulate, and at their discretion censor, all films within the United States, and would do so at the Federal level.  This would be supported by Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts (superintendent of the International Reform Bureau), and by the Catholics and Methodists.

Hughes would make the following statement to support his argument for the creation of this commission:

While the idea of censorship of motion pictures is distasteful to our clients, as well as to others in the business, our support of the principle of regulation embodied in the bill before you is due to our realization of unfavorable conditions in the industry which can not be corrected by ordinary means nor by sporadic and occasional criminal prosecutions, procured by the better elements of the business or by individual or organized reformers.  The motion-picture business, now of vast financial importance, has had a mushroom growth and is not yet homogeneous and standardized.  Too many persons engaged in the business look upon it as a temporary means of getting money instead of a permanent business, the continued profit of which is dependent upon the quality and character of the productions.  They are like miners who quickly exhaust the high-grade ore and leave the low grade on the dump.  They find the opportunity for such methods in producing and exhibiting sensational productions which display scenes of lust and crime.

Unfortunately, the public is not yet discriminating and goes to see both bad and good, which are usually to be found upon the weekly program of the same theater.  Still more unfortunately, the vicious picture brings the larger return to the exhibitor and producer, because it gets the money of the regular customer and the sensation-seeker also.  The state of affairs constitutes a temptation hard to resist and, in fact, the production of vicious pictures is constantly increasing just because they are more profitable.  If the industry is to endure, if decent people are to stay in the business, this cancer must be cut out.  A Federal regulatory commission should prove a fearless surgeon and we therefore favor such a commission.

— Dudley M. Hughes, 64th U.S. Congress, First Session, H.R. 456

A bill to create a new division within the Bureau of Education.  To create the Federal Motion Picture Commission.  Bureaus for this commission would be located in Los Angeles, California, and New York City.  These bureaus would review films and determine if they shall be licensed for exhibition (ie if they shall be allowed to be shown in theaters).  The bill also contained the following noteworthy sections:

Section 8: That the commission shall license every film submitted to it and intended for entrance into interstate commerce unless such film or any part thereof is obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, or is a reproduction of an actual bull fight or prize fight, or is of such a character that exhibition would tend to corrupt morals or incite to crime.

Section 13: That the commission shall annually, on or before the first day of January each year, submit a written report to the United States Commissioner of Education.  In this report, and from time to time by other means, the commission may recommend films particularly suitable for children, and may make suggestions regarding the recreational and educational uses of motion pictures.

Then Reverend John Macmurray, Pastor of Union Methodist Episcopal Church of Washington D.C., had an interesting say, to say the least.

[…] a large degree of paternalism is absolutely imperative in a democracy.  Where every man’s voice must be heard and heeded in the decision of important matters, it is essential that that voice be intelligently raised for the commonweal or Commonwealth, as well as for the benefit of its owner; the aim being the “greatest good for the greatest number.”

It must be a thoroughly trained voice.

The function of the parent is to bring children into the world and train them for the State.

Where parents are too weak, or not wise enough or unwilling to train children thus the State must take the place of the parent.  Sometimes the intelligent and capable prefer that the State do this work for their children, as better equipped for the work.  Consequently the State has in a large measure taken the place of the parent in training the child and that with the consent of the very large majority of American citizens.  What one State has done or is doing, a number of other States, agreeing and consenting, may form a group of States to do–United States.  So now the State or a group States provides the conditions by which children are to be brought into the world; designates who shall be their parent, how they shall be born; then what the child shall eat and drink and how it shall eat and drink; what kind of air it shall breathe; what kind of clothes it shall wear; who shall nurse, train, and teach it; what it shall learn and what it shall not learn and when it shall learn it; when it shall play and what and where; when the child shall go to sleep and when it shall arise; provides for conditions of sleep; designates the route by which it shall go to and return from school; takes it from the parent and directs its activities, and may claim its services–the State may under certain circumstances take it away from the care of the parent completely; designates its mental food and its moral surroundings and everything that has to do with its moral welfare and development.  When the child grows to manhood that care still continues.

The State tells me what I shall eat, how I shall eat it; what I shall drink and how and when I shall drink it; what kind of air I shall breathe; what I shall wear and how I shall wear it; what kind of house and home I shall have; tells me what I may do in the way of occupation and what I may not; what shall be my amusements and what shall not; takes care of my health; tells me how I shall ride and even what I shall pay for transportation.  The State tells me what kind of books and papers I shall read; what kinds of pictures I shall look at and what dramatic performances I shall witness; how I shall marry and whom; how I shall be born, live, die, and be buried.

In fact the State, as a parent, mixes itself into almost all of my personal affairs, and I have become so accustomed to it that I do not demur or resent it.  For whatever personal liberty and personal rights I have, and they are very great, I am willing to surrender in most cases because I receive more than the equivalent for what I give in the benefits accruing to me from the mutual voluntary surrender of the personal liberty and rights of others.  I have no right to expect to benefit from the surrender of others unless I surrender myself to the benefits of the State.  If I am not willing to abide by and be obedient to the laws and regulations of the family government for the good of all the family and let my parents direct, then I can kick and register my kick, or I am at liberty to run away and betake myself as far as possible from these obnoxious family laws and rule.  Any American citizen in good standing is free to go to any spot on this globe and be freely welcomed except by those governments where, under the circumstances, he is least likely to go.

He is free to go to Mars if he can find safe transportation.

To be too insistent on personal rights and personal liberty at the expense of others is anarchy, and anarchy is not consistent with itself.

Therefore the State or a group of States may and does say: No influence shall be allowed to neutralize the effects of our public training and instruction; whatever it is wise for the child to receive we shall give; what is not wise we shall withhold.

The State teaches all useful knowledge–arts and sciences.  What it does not teach may be regarded as neither useful or necessary but sometimes harmful.  The States does not teach burglary, forgery, gun toting, licentiousness, losseness of necessary marriage bonds, or anything else classed as crimes, incentives to crime, nor resultant in crimes against the laws of common decency and proper human development.  What the parent State refuses to teach in morality it should not permit outsiders to teach, and thus it regulates or refuses to allow those things which teach lessons subversive of or contrary to the purpose of the State.

Those who oppose paternalism are benefited by and acquiesce in paternalism in all things except when it interferes where they are directly interested, but since they in each case must of necessity be in the minority, and since the “greatest good for the greatest number” must be the thing sought for, they must eventually give way to the wish of the majority.

There can be no doubt but that if this bill passes Congress and becomes the law of the land, this seeming paternal feature will be consented to by the mass of the American people, for their silence and acquiescence will be equivalent to consent when they possess right at hand the power to reject if they should choose to do so.  Gentlemen of the committee, you know and I know that the majority of common-sense American people will accept your decision and the action of Congress in favor of the regulation asked for in this bill with equanimity.  It is this thought which comforts those who favor this bill.

Now, there is, however, a common ground on which our motion-picture friends and ourselves may stand, for those persons are surely our friends who contribute to our happiness and enlightenment.

That common ground is the censor-not censorship.  I feel, after all, that our friends who have done so much for our pleasure and instruction in furnishing these motion pictures do not object to censorship, as it is called.  They are not afraid of that.  They would be the very first to disown such a fear.  They really covet censorship.  They have it now in a limited and uncertain manner.  But they very reasonably fear the censors with the almost autocratic powers which they will possess–the possible favoritism, partisinship, and corruption–the big stick which may be held over their business with its over $350,000,000 annual income.

And those who have had any experience with many high-priced commissions of the Government feel that this fear is not altogether groundless.

Let them feel quite sure of the fair and square deal for all, that favoritism, partisanship, and possible injustice shall not prevail, and the really strongest objection to this bill must be removed.  The higher priced the commission the greater will be the temptation to fill that commission with men who have no other qualifications than political ones, and what one man with appointing power is strong enough to withstand the pressure which must receive fullest attention.

Mr. Chairman, the committee of which I am the chairman is making an investigation of the character of the pictures now being shown in the nearly 80 motion-picture theaters in the District of Columbia, and would be pleased to have the privilege of submitting the results of this definite investigation to you and the committee for your consideration.

This speech gives me chills.  Makes me downright terrified that someone made a speech in support of such Orwellian concepts in a meeting of Congress in America.  That they would think the idea of a paternalist State/government that would have that much control over their citizens, and that would somehow prevent favoritism, partisanship, and injustice.  Stuff like this begs the question, “What loony bin did this psychotic fuck escape from?”  Stating that this act of censorship will lead us down a path that will eliminate favoritism and partisanship, while at the same time talking about a majority of common-sense people, the majority, and the power and ethics of the State being superior to that of any individual.  Anyone who disagrees should be imprisoned or brainwashed to believe otherwise.  I honestly don’t know how it is a film hasn’t been made about this event that hasn’t been a smash hit.  It would have a plot revolving around the immorality of Catholics, the potential dangers of government, the threat to individuality.  Everything is there that any half-assed cliched film full of stereotypes would be crawling over.

Ironically, the WWI propaganda films released around 1917 and onwards until some time after the war’s end would basically carry the message that peace cannot be achieved without war.

Following this were Statements from the Christian Unions and Societies, which all pretty much boil down to stating that they received information and complaints from other individuals and organizations, various citizens, who state that the films they’ve witness are improper, suggestive, exhibit immoral character; have unclean purposes; they subvert morals, ideals, good citizenship; they corrupt the youth.  And, therefore, films must be subject to the most strict form of censorship before being exhibited to the public. But there is an entry worth noting from a Mr. H. F. Worley (keep in mind that films didn’t have a rating system during this time; all films were basically Not Rated):

Many of these things would not be so objectionable to older people of experience and settled opinions, but our membership is largely composed of children from 7 years of age up to and including high-school age.  In some cases the pastors are complaining bitterly against the motion-picture shows and have preached sermons calling attention to the harmful effect of some films, and as no one can determine from the title or the outside illustrations the nature of films, it will have the effect of many of our people remaining away from the shows and put them in bad odor.

Many of the films are not obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent […], but they do show features that are immorally suggestive, picture crime in a way to make heroes of the criminals, show the details of safe breaking and other criminal acts make the show a school in crime, and make many suggestions promotive of vice, trickery, and crime.

We object to the motion-picture play showing so much of loose married relations, adultery, infidelity, and jealousy.  If a stranger should suddenly drop down upon this earth from Mars and get his information from the motion pictures of to-day, he would immediately conclude that there is not a single good, pure, virtuous woman or mother in the United States, as they make a mockery of married relations and marriage vows.  The youth of our land is being educated through what they see in the motion picture and they will come to have the same view.  The pictures also set forth un-Christian views of life and cast reflections upon the most sacred things in life.  They too often hold up to ridicule the preacher and the priest.  There is often undue and unchaste familiarity between the sexes.  Deaf-mutes are very expert in catching what is being said in a conversation by watching the movement of the lips.  They have reported many times that the conversations carried on by the actors in the motion pictures were not only inappropriate to the picture, but were often vulgar and vile.  Of course, the rest of the audience can not detect this.  There is too much prominence given to the interior of saloons and dance halls and drinking and drunkenness.  They often show too much detail regarding seductions and criminal assaults.

They prostitute the law, show the officers of the law and constituted authorities in an unfavorable light, and often the criminal escapes with the ill-gotten gains, marries a good girl who knows nothing of his past, and reforms.  Other boys will think they can do the same.  There is too much killing–it is too promiscuous–and the men die too easily.  It tends to make life cheap.  There is too much revenge, and jealousy is too prominent.

The manufacturers do not all have a decent regard for the sentiments of the people of the Southern States of of other sections, or for the races.

Some of the so-called “problem” and other plays may have a good or at least not a bad moral ending, but the story itself is so dirty that the end does not justify the means.  What is not shown in the picture is supplied by suggestive explanatory wording.  My little boy and girl often ask me “Daddy, what does that mean?”  I can’t tell them, but they get an impression that is indelibly photographed on their brain.  In early adolescence, children are very impressionable and imitative, and such pictures as I have described tend to brutalize and degrade them.  If it comes to a point where children must be kept away from the shows, very few parents will go and it will only be a matter of time when they fall into bad repute.  The companies that are now producing nothing but clean pictures should not attempt to defend the business generally, including those who turn out improper pictures.  This same warning was sounded against the saloon in the last two decades, but in their generation the liquor trade thought they were “wiser than the children of light” and that they were too deeply intrenched in politics and habits of men to be disturbed in what they considered as their rights.  If they had kept within the law and due bounds and had regulated those of their number who openly flouted the law and conducted indecent places, the great prohibition movement in this country would not have attained its present proportions.  A word to the wise is not necessary.

[…]

I wish to emphasize in the strongest terms that I am in favor of the motion-picture play and think it has a great future if it is kept clean.  I firmly believe that a Federal inspection or censorship of the films before they are exhibited would be a benefit to the manufacturers, distributers, and exhibitors.  It would give them a standing.  People would not hesitate to go, feeling that they would be in no danger of being offended or their children of seeing something undesirable.  I am surprised that they have fought the bill.

Perhaps that’s because they have some sense of logic that you do not?

The Rev. Mr. Brady says that we “don’t put certain books in the hands of our children.”  That is just what we are trying to do with regard to motion pictures–not to allow certain ones to be exhibited, or, to use Brother Brady’s words, “too keep them out of the sight of our children.”

When restrictive or regulative measures have been pending before the committees of Congress in the past, I have heard the same specious arguments advanced as to why they should not be enacted into law as are now put forward by the motion-picture manufacturers.  They want to be let alone.  They say that it is impossible to select five or more men who can pass on these films, but with unbecoming lack of modesty they admit that the five or six men in their plants are capable of deciding what is desirable and what is not.  This is a strong assertion of virtue on their part to the effect that they are able to select men who can do this work satisfactorily but that the great Government of the United States can not.

They state that the legislation will infringe on their personal liberty.  We have a great deal of civil liberty but very little personal liberty.  Adam had it, but it was restricted by Eve’s personal liberty when she came.  In like manner Robinson Crusoe had it in unrestricted degree until Friday came.  This law is no more an infringement of personal liberty than the pure-food law, opium law, forcible vaccination, prohibiting prize-fight pictures from being shown, holding of duels, lotteries, etc.

They say that this act would be unconstitutional.  If so, why do they oppose it?  The courts would determine that in their favor if it is unconstitutional.  I take it that they fear that it is constitutional.

Or they may fear the court is full of dumbfucks who don’t consider enough of the ways in how the act would be detrimental to the constitution.  You know, like the 1915 ruling declaring that film shouldn’t have first amendment rights.

Conservation is the spirit of the day.  We are conserving our natural resources in forests, water power, etc.  We are spending large sums to save our fruit crops from blight and to prevent and cure diseases of cattle and hogs.  I submit that the greatest resources of our country are the boys and girls, who will be the men and women of the next generation.  One of them is worth infinitely more than all the hogs in the land.

An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.  If a sewer pipe leaks in a home or on a public street, no one would counsel that it be let alone to see what the effect would be.  No; they would all wish to stop up the poisonous flow of gas at once.  They would want to take no chances at all, even though the leak might be very small and the effect be harmful in a small degree.  If it were at all harmful, everyone would agree that it must be stopped at once.  That is exactly the position we take regarding the motion pictures.  The manufacturers agree with us that there are some pictures harmful in some degree and others that should not be exhibited at all.  In fact, they have been prohibited by the courts from being exhibited at a number of places in this country.  How much more necessary that we should stop this flow of poison into the youthful minds!  It would not affect the pictures that are now clean, and in fairness I wish to say that there are some companies that I have never known to turn out a questionable picture.

The worst feature of the effect on the youthful minds is that the harvest will not be reaped this year or the next, but the seed is being sowed and the crop will be gathered in the next generation.  If preventive measures are not taken now, they will be too late for this generation.  We can not expect to sow weeds and reap grain.  “As we sow, so shall we reap.”

For the benefit of the youth of the land as well as of the motion-picture manufacturers I trust that you will favorably report this bill and urge its enactment into law in such form and language that it will not injuriously affect any legitimate, well-intentioned manufacturer of clean films or place a burden or hardship upon him.  If so, we shall feel deeply grateful to you and the manufacturers will soon see the benefits derived and will rise up and call you blessed.

That statement, “An ounce of prevention is worth of ton of cure,” does have truth to it when put in the right context.  But he uses it in one context to emphasize its use in another.  I’d go into details as to the problems with this, but William Seabury would do that (more on him soon).

Rev. Harvey J. Brown:

The power of pictures over the imagination and destiny of one family illustrates the moral and psychological necessity of guarding the latent force of pictures in our homes, unless we want our children to be like the pictures they view.

Well, I’ll give Harvey Brown some credit.  The least that can be admitted is that motion pictures do have a psychological effect on people, carrying the potential to influence them towards doing one thing or another.  Of course, if one is mature and wise enough, it shouldn’t be much of a problem, and they should only be influenced by pictures in the best ways.  Those who are not, in particular children, should have some protection from this influence.  But that should be at the discretion of the parents, especially because each child is different, let alone each family.

Those were the main arguments for the bill.  Now for the arguments against the bill, or what I’d like to call common-sense and less Orwellian.  Made by William M. Seabury of the New York bar, general counsel for the Motion Picture Board of Trade of America:

And we predict it will be demonstrated that the proposed legislation is not only wholly unnecessary and an utterly ineffective and a useless expedient for the correction of any existing evil, but that it is ruinous to the fifth largest industry in the country and will constitute a vicious, dangerous, and un-American piece of legislation, which in itself is a serious infringement of the liberties of the citizen and in reality is the announcement of the commencement of governmental censorship of the drama, the press, and of free speech, events so abhorrent and repugnant to the letter and spirit of our institutions and laws as to require from this committee its emphatic and positive denunciation and repudiation.

The motion-picture industry of this country is credited with being the fifth largest industry in the United States from the standpoint of capital invested.

As a medium of thought expression the motion picture is said to reach approximately eight to ten millions of our people daily, and the percentage of adult and infant attendance at these exhibitions is said to approximate, respectively, about 90 per cent for adults and about 10 per cent for children.

Seabury would go on to cite news articles to make his point.

Moving pictures of prize fights are forbidden.  Several large Chicago papers applaud.  Yet these same papers devote full pages to showing actual scenes from the battle fronts in Europe.  A prize fight does not kill.  A battle picture that does not show men being destroyed by hundreds fails.  Why permit one to be shown and deny the right to the other?

— Chicago Journal, Dec. 17, 1915

 

“The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the inalienable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.”  (Art. I, sec. 7, Constitution of Pennsylvania.)

The fear of libel laws keeps the press within bounds and the fear of the laws against exhibiting indecent, libelous, or immoral pictures will prevent the movie managers from offending public taste.  Especially if those who transgress are punished under the general laws covering such offenses.

— Philadelphia Public Ledger, Sept. 30, 1915

 

If censorship is right in principle, why is it not extended to include every variety of entertainment?  Why censor the 10-cent motion-picture play and exempt the $2 so-called problem play?

— Chicago News, Nov. 2, 1915

 

The general public takes no great interest in the controversy over film censorship.  Members of the tribe of Comstock and certain others who are greatly concerned that there shall be no ridicule of race and religions at the movies appear to be the active backers of censorship.

— St. Louis Republic, Oct. 29, 1915

 

Kansas is not the only State where Carmen [1915 Cecil B. DeMille film] was prohibited from being shown by the censors.  In Ohio and Pennsylvania the scissors were wielded whole-heartedly, and finally the picture was kept from these States altogether, as it has been in Kansas.

Comment: These are the three States in the Union that have State censorship.

— Topeka Daily Capitol, Oct. 24, 1915

The best of literature has been ransacked by the motion picture for the children.  Sinbad the Sailor, Robinson Crusoe, the Cricket on the Hearth, Three Little Bears, Cinderella, the Children in the Tower, form a feast spread for their enjoyment.

— Louisville Herald, Oct. 25, 1915

 

Who protects the morals of the movie censors from the “terrible” pictures they must see?  Do not these have a perverting effect upon them?  They are normal Kansas folk.  Perhaps it is necessary that the morals of the censors be sacrificed if need be, but their plight seems to be a sorry one indeed.

— State Journal, Topeka, Kans., Oct. 19, 1915

 

If Carmen had been a nice, ladylike young person, Prosper Merimee would not have written a novel about her, and Bizet would never have had a chance to make Merimee’s story over into one of the most popular of all operas.  And, of course, no one would have made either novel or book into a picture play.  And, now, the Ohio board of moving picture censors commands that Carmen must be respectable and orderly.  She must not smoke, for smoking is not commendable in young girls of Carmen’s age.  She must not do other things which do not conform to be accepted twentieth century social standards.  She must, in fact, be denatured.  The example indicates not only the uselessness but also the large nuisance value of the State censor board.  The time is not far distant when the censorship nuisance will be abated.  It is the recrudescense of Puritanism wholly out of harmony with the times.

— Cleveland Plaindealer, Oct. 15, 1915

 

Public sentiment is the saving force in such matters (pictures about which there is doubt).  It has in the past prevented the exploitation of many unsavory plays, not alone in the movies but on the legitimate stage as well.

— Morning Union, Springfield, Mass., Sept. 20, 1915

 

Censorship, why?  The motion picture is an art form.  As such, like art itself, it must be free to practice in accordance with its ideals.  The decision as to whether these ideals are worthy is too important to be left to one or two or a hundred people.  The judgement must be given by the people who will benefit or suffer by the recreations they support.  When this course has been pursued in the past there have been no mistakes.

— New York Evening Mail

 

A State or National censorship of films probably would lead to the censorship of dramatic productions, and thence to magazines, books, and newspapers.

— Waltham (Mass.) News, Nov. 6, 1915

 

The censorship of moving picture films has been made a political football by Gov. Willis.  The result is that motion-picture exhibitors may be forced into politics.  It has come to their knowledge that several films, after having been passed by the censor board, have been recalled and rejected at the direct command of the governor.  One of these is “The birth of a nation.”  It was barred from Ohio by executive order, because it was objectionable to certain manipulators of the colored vote.  In the same connection it is told that another film was handled by the censors and approved.  Remonstrance was made by a colored politician to Gov. Willis.  The film producer heard of it, and said, “I”ll have to see that fellow for $100 or so.”  He must have seen him for the next day the governor was informed that the objections had been withdrawn, and again the film was approved and released.

— Messenger, Freemont, Ohio, Jan. 1, 1916

 

The censorship of motion pictures by the States or Federal Government would put the responsibility in the wrong place.  As capable of misuse, moving pictures are not in a class by themselves.  Books may carry moral poison.  Unwholesome books are actually sold.  By very long experience the friends of law and order know it is wiser to deal with bad books after they appear instead of assuming that no publisher can be trusted.

— Boston Herald, Nov. 8, 1915

 

Why Federal censorship anyway?  We have no official Federal board to sit in judgement upon American literature or American newspapers.  We have no Federal juries to require orators to rehearse before them ere they may deliver their orations to a breathless public.  But we do have adequate laws protecting the public against indecent literature, indecent newspapers, and indecent speakers.  If persons violate these laws they can be punished after the act.  We should have laws to protect society against indecent films.  We have such laws already.  We don’t need any more Federal guardians.

— Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Jan. 2, 1916

 

A body of nonexpert guardians of public morals is a sore and needless irritation to the public.

— Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle, Nov. 4, 1915

 

Standards of people vary surprisingly along this line.  If every scene that possibly may offend somebody were to be eliminated from the average film there wouldn’t be a great deal of it left.

— Joplin (Mo.) Globe, Dec. 16, 1915

 

There is no more need of censorship for motion pictures than there is for censorship of newspapers, for certainly it can not be claimed that the sensational newspaper is less potent in its influence than the film drama.

— New York Evening Mail, Oct. 15, 1915

 

The courts of Allegheny County have in a recent decision nullified the police rights of Pennsylvania cities.  By declaring that the State board of censors for moving pictures is the final authority, they have taken away the fundamental power of each city to govern itself.  It is impossible to believe that this decision will stand when once its meaning has been made clear.

The board of censors has plenary power to allow or disallow films for exhibition in this State.  The tyranny of this body has been suffered only because appeals to the courts and to the police have been available as a check upon it.  Now the court has decided that when a film has passed the censors it can not be stopped by the police.

The full effect of this decision is to tie the hands of individuals and to deliver the cities, bound and gagged, into the hands of the board.  The censorship of plays properly rests with the people.  Their protests are carried out by the police and by the court.  There is nothing inherently wrong with the movies to make another kind of censorship necessary.  And there is nothing sacrosanct about the board of censors to make its decisions irrevocable.

— Tribune, Beaver Falls, Pa., Sept. 20, 1915

 

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has prepared a motion-picture film […] giving views of various phases of Georgia’s agricultural and industrial activities.  Among them are pictures of the cotton industry, from planting and chopping time, through the various processes to the finished product of the mills.

We wonder if these mill pictures show the children from 12 to 15 at work?  Or has Georgia a board of censorship that eliminated that little feature?

— Telegram, Bridgeport, Conn., Dec. 14, 1915

 

If Park Commissioner Cunneliffe’s motion-picture censorship bill passes there will soon be a demand for an enlargement of his field of activity.  The people will want him to decide what the newspapers shall print, what drama shall be produced, and what books they shall read.  Perhaps he will be asked to censor the sermons to be delivered from the pulpits and speeches to be made at public meetings.  He will become our mental and moral dictator.

— St. Louis Post Dispatch, Nov. 4, 1915

 

The people themselves who daily throng the motion-picture theaters of this city and State are the best censors.

— Cleveland Plaindealer, Oct. 30, 1914

 

The moving picture is not an incentive to crime.  Certain abnormal youths may commit crimes after seeing pictures precisely as some man may rob a jeweler’s window after gazing at the rich display it contains.  These circumstances, however, indicts neither the moving picture nor the jeweler’s display.

— The Philadelphia Evening Telegraph, Oct. 12, 1914

 

In days not long past it was the practice of lazy thinkers to blame the dime and novel and the cigarette for crime among juveniles; to-day the same class levels its absurd charges against the motion pictures.

The guardianship of children does not stop at the door of moving-picture theater, and parents who allow their children to go without knowing what they are likely to see can not escape responsibility for their carelessness, any more than if they were to allow them to attend the performances at the regular theaters indiscriminately.  The only effective censorship is the registration of public opinion.

— The Press, Atlantic City, N.J., Oct. 14, 1915

 

There are indications of a wide awakening of the American people to the fact that puritanical interference with innocent amusements is a species of tyranny which they have too long endured.  It is bound to become as extinct as the “Dodo.”

— The Morning Telegraph, New York City, Nov. 21, 1915

 

We see no reason why this censorship innovation should remain within the narrow confines of the moving-picture theater.  There is a world of error to conquer.  The press daily, or twice daily, pours forth its torrent of comment and report.  Officials are subjected to criticism.  Events which must stir the moral reprobation of the censorial conscience are minutely reported.  Besides there are the books, the rostrum, and the pulpit–all of these constantly offend against the convictions and predilections, sentiments, and standards of the board of censors, who confine the safeguards of censorship to the humble and comparatively unoffending “movie.”

— Tribune, Chicago, Nov. 25, 1915

 

The bill creating Federal censorship of moving pictures, now in the hands of the House Committee, belongs in the category of avuncular legislation.  The people won’t go far astray in deciding for themselves what is proper and what is improper in filmdom.  Uncle Sam has taken the trouble of regulating morals on more than one previous occasion, and he has proven himself a conspicuous failure at such work.

— The Times, Pawtucket, R. I., Jan. 3, 1916

 

In our so frequent discussions of the ethical side of entertainments, and especially in regard to the moving pictures, a great deal is said about “the protection of the children.”  But there will always have to be discrimination on the part of the parent, and no public censor can ever take place of that.

— Journal, Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 8, 1915

 

The censor rejects merely because he personally does not approve of the picture.  He approves for the same reason.

The pulpit was almost unanimous in commending the film pictures of John Barleycorn, yet it contained more drinking scenes than any other photoplay made.

Local or national censorship fails.  At present no two people will agree, city will not accept the judgment of the State, nor the State that of a Federal comment.

— Gazette, St. Joseph, Dec. 15, 1915

 

The idea which had the public morals as its basis when the boards of censorship were formed has proven a boomerang to public officials.  This kind of thing seems inherent in the practice of censorship.  When the government dabbles in private morals condemnation is sure to follow.  Censorship should not rest with any small group of people.

— Review, Fort Collins, Colo., Oct. 23, 1915

 

Really the best censor is a calm public mind reinforced by the shrewd sense of the amusement purveyor.

— Times, Brockton, Mass., Sept. 24, 1915

 

If censorship is good in principle it should properly be extended to include every variety of amusement.

— Portland (Oreg.) Journal, Nov. 1, 1915

 

Pennsylvania and Ohio movie censors cut out Romeo and Juliet, because Juliet is a girl in her teens conducting herself in a most unmaidenly fashion, and the play abounds in kisses and passionate love scenes.  Having thus eliminated the great dramatist’s art, the censors passed, without question, modern society dramas showing elopements, assignations, murders, and suicides.  The censor is a rare animal.

— Republican, Hackensack, N.J., Dec. 16, 1815 [I suspect that year is a misprint]

 

Hail to the Ohio board of censors!  We would like to say for the sake of alliteration the board of sensible censors.  But to call the Ohio board of censors sensible would not be true.  We fear the board needs the broadening influence of travel and the education that goes with it.

— Reflector-Herald, Norwalk, Ohio, Oct. 18, 1915

That sums up the arguments he cited made against film censorship.  Then he opted to make arguments of his own.

The police power is the power of the State to regulate the public health and morals.  It is a power Congress does not possess except when used as a legitimate incident of some other existing power.

The power to regulate interstate commerce is a national and not a State power.  Yet bearing these simple propositions in minds, the Supreme Court, in the Mutual Film Co. case, decided that a State regulation of the exhibition of motion pictures by means of a State censorship board, including the imposition of a State tax upon the inspection of films which originally came into the State as interstate commerce, was not an interference with interstate commerce and consequently was not beyond the authority of State enactment.  How, then, can any court be expected to hold when Congress passes the same kind of an act, solely for the purpose of preventing exhibitions of pictures within the several States, that the character of the legislation, although identical, becomes changed from a statute which regulates the police power, to one which lawfully regulates commerce?

It is clear no such jugglery may logically be permitted.

When the States passed a censorship statute, the Supreme Court said it did not interfere with interstate commerce and that it was a lawful exercise of the police power of the States.

When the States passed a censorship statute, the Supreme Court said it did not interfere with interstate commerce and that it was a lawful exercise of the police power of the States.

If Congress passes a censorship statute, can the courts be expected to hold that the act is passed pursuant to this power to regulate commerce and that it is not a police measure?  We think not.

[…]

The police power is exclusively a State and not a Federal power.

State censorship is not an interference with interstate commerce and is a lawful exercise of its police power in so far as dramas are concerned.  How, then, can a Federal censorship bill be held to be the regulation of interstate commerce and not an exercise of police power?

[…]

The guaranty of our Federal Constitution and of the constitution of every State in the Union has been in substance that every man shall have the right to express and publish freely his thoughts and sentiments, being responsible both criminally and civilly for the abuse thereof.

It is to preserve this principle inviolate in its application to the exhibition of motion pictures, particularly to the exhibition of the news and the so-called serial motion picture, for which we earnestly contend.

[…]

We are obliged to recognize the power of Congress specifically to prohibit the introduction into this country of a film which depicts a prize fight […].

The enactment of this statute, however, involves no question of the right of the Federal Government to censor films by the exercise of the police power, and that case is no authority for the enactment of a censorship statute by Congress.

It is not pretended that Congress has any power to enact this statute other than the power conferred by the so-called commerce clause of the Constitution.  And this function would be fully performed by the enactment of a law forbidding and penalizing the transportation of immoral and indecent films in interstate commerce.

The insertion of the words “motion-picture film” in an appropriate place in […] the Criminal Code of the United States would at once exert and exhaust the entire power of Congress over this subject.

If thereafter any such film was transported in interstate commerce, long before its exhibition the sender and the receiver would be amenable to the Federal criminal law.

If the film so shipped was of the prohibited character, the ordinary enforcement of the criminal law would punish the wrongdoer.

[…]

The censorship principle is said to be involved in and to underlie the Federal statutes which regulate the importation and transportation of foods and drugs […], and the protection afforded from the importation an transportation of infected animals and meat established by the Federal meat inspection law […], and other similar statutes.

But no such principle is involved in any of these statutes.

Impure food, habit-forming drugs, and infected cattle, dead or alive, are dangerous to human health in and of themselves, and inspection of such supjects is not a censorship of them.

Whether food is impure and consequently dangerous to health, whether certain drugs contain opium, morphia, or poison of prohibited character, and whether a particular cow has or has not an infectious disease are all medical facts, the existence of which is susceptible of accurate determination by competent inspection of substances already in existence.  But the same result can not possibly be achieved by the censorship of a drama or of a motion picture.

There is admittedly nothing inherently dangerous from the standpoint of morality in contact with the physical substance of the films, and whether or not a particular picture when exhibited to the public, either as news, as a periodical, or as a drama, will or will not impair the morals of the community is not susceptible of specific determination except in very gross and plain cases.  Such matters involve honest differences of opinion, different standards of morality, each in many instances equally good, and different ideals.  One community learns a lesson and derives a benefit from the exhibition of a certain picture, while another audience in a different location may obtain no benefit from the exhibition, and might even be injuriously affected by it.  But these are not proper matters for determination by any one commission for the benefit of a country of 100,000,000 people.  The only legitimate censor of thought expression is the community in which the thought is expressed.

If a thought is expressed which offends the moral sense of the community in which it is published, there are ample existing remedies to redress the wrong; but it is impossible to accomplish the suppression of an exhibition of undesirable pictures by providing for their national censorship.  Who would seriously suggest that an author should submit his manuscript to the Librarian of Congress for his approval and censorship before he might copyright his literacy production?  Who would seriously suggest that a clergyman should submit the manuscript of his sermon to some legalized censor who had the privilege of determining the right of the clergyman to deliver the sermon to his congregation?

Who would seriously suggest that the press of the country submit its galley proofs to a national board of censors for review prior to publication?

A play or drama can not intelligently be compared to a piece of infected meat.  Neither can the newspaper, the magazine,nor the sermon.  And so we confidently assert that none of the statutes to which we have referred contain the slightest analogy in principle to the bill here proposed to be enacted.

[…]

We conclude from what has been said that Congress is without power to enact any bill based upon the principle of censorship of motion pictures.

Section 5 of the proposed powers the Federal Motion Pictures Commission stated:

That the commission shall license every film submitted to it and intended for entrance into interstate commerce, unless it finds that such film is obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, or depicts a bull fight or prize fight, or is of such a character that its exhibition would tend to impair the health or corrupt the morals of children or adults or incite to crime.  The commission may license any film subject to such excisions, amplifications, or alterations as the commission may direct and require to be made.  The commission may by unanimous vote withdraw any license at any time for cause shown.

Seabury would make a statement going against this very section of this power for the commission-to-be:

What number of commissioners is required in order to pass the film in the first instance and to license it, and for what “cause shown” may a license once granted be withdrawn upon unanimous vote?

And how, may we ask, is it humanly possible for the commission or anyone else to determine whether a film is “of such a character that its exhibition would tend to impair the health or corrupt the morals of children or adults or incite to crime”?

But perhaps the most extraordinary power sought to be conferred by the act is that which assumes to authorize the commission to license any film subject to such “amplifications or alterations as the commission may direct and require to be made.”  This authorizes the commission to direct a manufacturer to make perhaps several thousand feet of film solely for the purpose of “amplifying” and of exploiting some idea of the commission.  The commission is given the authority to determine what shall be emphasized by way of  illustration or what less shall not be conveyed by the picture, and what shall be suppressed, curtailed, or entirely eliminated.  In other words, the arm of the Federal Government becomes the manufacturer of motion pictures on the capital and at the expense of the producer.  It dominates and controls and determines what shall be produced and what shall not.  In other words, it censors pictures.

Why, may we ask, is the commission directed to make an annual report making “recommendations to importers and producers of films and to the public regarding the educational and recreational use of motion pictures”?  This is only a specimen of the paternalism evidenced by the bill.  We have already shown that by directing the commission and empowering it to require amplifications and alterations to be made in the film the Government in reality becomes the producer; not, however, on the capital of the Government, but upon the capital and money of the producer.

[…]

And, moreover, it is apparently contemplated that the commission shall indulge in a species of public exhortation, regarding the education and recreational use of motion pictures.  Thus it will give publicity and the weight of its sanction and approval to certain films which appeal to the members of the commission, while others equally good, but which, as a matter of taste, do not appeal to the members of the commission, will be condemned by silence.

[…]

Many of the suggestions in this new censorship bill are supposed to have emanated from the Famous Players Film Corporation, the Jesse Lasky Co., producing companies which distribute their product through the Paramount Picture Corporation, which also supported the new bill, the World Film Co., the Equitable Film Co., and the Metro Pictures Corporation.

The unexpected support of Federal censorship in any form from these companies is clearly only a shallow attempt to appear before the committee in a “holier than thou” attitude, since these companies stand alone in their position and are opposed by every reputable concern in the industry.

[…]

Only those who wish to come as near the line of obscenity and impropriety as possible without incurring liability to heavy fine and imprisonment in the penitentiary welcome the immunity from Federal criminal prosecution which Federal censorship would afford.  If, in the rush and pressure of business, or after the commission has been liberally educated in the “moral lessons” taught by some immoral plays, an improper film could be put through the Federal censorship commission, so much the better from the standpoint of those who haunt the border line of impropriety.

[…]

The enactment of the Federal censorship bill would not prevent the enactment of other censorship laws in each State in the Union, in each city, in each town, in each village; so that in the course of time, if the principle of Federal censorship is recognized, the industry would be inevitably censored out of existence.

[…]

The only excuse for any censorship is a desire to afford children extreme protection.  But, if censorship is to benefit the children, each play would have to be censored from the standpoint of the child, so that only children’s pictures would thereafter be exhibited.  This would destroy the industry.  If this is not the type of censorship which would result from the creation of this Federal commission, the censorship would fail entirely in its purpose and would be worthless and unnecessary.

[…] The local conditions which have resulted from existing State censorships are cited as an argument in support of the bill.  We urge the same argument for its defeat.  We pointed out what happened to “Virtue” in New York and in Pennsylvania.  The argument it presents is irrefutable.

In New York State there is no censorship which involves examination of the prepublicity type.  In Pennsylvania a full-fledged censorship law exists.

In Pennsylvania the board of censors prohibited the exhibition of “Virtue” on the screen.  An appeal was immediately taken to the court of common pleas and the ruling of the board of censors reversed and authority given to exhibit the picture, and the picture was exhibited in Pennsylvania.

In New York City, where the future exhibition of “Virtue” was extensively advertised, so that its character was known without the necessity of prepublic examination, the commissioner of licenses of the city of New York notified the exhibitor that the exhibitor’s license would be revoked if he exhibited the picture.

The exhibitor was immediately placed upon the offensive.  He secured a temporary injunction to restrain the commissioner of licenses from revoking his license; but, upon the final hearing of the injunction, and before, as we are informed, the picture was exhibited at all to the public, the temporary injunction was dissolved and the ruling of the commissioner of licenses upheld, and the picture was not exhibited in New York.

This illustrates conclusively the complete and absolute inefficiency of any censorship of the prepublicity type.  It illustrates that in Pennsylvania, where the people are burdened with censorship, a questionable picture is publicly exhibited notwithstanding the prohibition of the censors, while in New York, where no prepublicity censorship exists, the picture is not shown.

I haven’t been able to locate the film Virtue.  For all I know, it has been lost to the ravages of time, with no copy left in existence.

No argument against censorship would be complete without a brief reference to the ludicrous manner in which it has been enforced wherever its vicious principles have been enacted into law.

[…] we were favored by the Photo Play Magazine with the advance sheets of an article by Mr. Channing Pollock, in which the facts which demonstrate the ridiculous absurdity of censorship in practice were effectively portrayed.

Mr. Pollock said in part: Considering that it is 40 years since first she (Carmen) mouthed her mad love to the music of Bizet, Carmen might have expected the deference due old age.  Beautifully filmed and beautifully acted by Geraldine Farrar, she came as a bolt from the blue to shocked and surprised boards in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California.  Her ancient kiss, that inspired the first big press-agent story, was ordered cut to 5 feet.  “Just a little love, a little kiss,” warbled the Buckeyes, and nothing more than a yard and two-thirds of affection came within that allowance.  “All love scenes showing embraces between males and females” were ordered measured and trimmed, leaving the cigarette maker to give her life for a purely paternal peck from the bashful bullfighter, Escamillo.

Come to think of it, however, Carmen wasn’t permitted to give her life, either in Ohio or in California.  A local board in the latter State objected to the killing of a woman by a man, though there is no opposition to the killing of men by women.  After all, girls will be girls!  It is only the male who must not be encouraged!  Pennsylvania banned the little set-to between Carmen and Frasquita, and the duel between Morales and Don Jose.  All this had taken place dozens of times in the opera in Philadelphia, without appreciable effect upon the police records; but apparently the censors were comforted by the reflection that no one knows what an opera is about anyway.  “Camille” is forbidden in England, but there has been no ruling against “Traviata.”  Young persons who weep to the strains of “O Parigi, O cara” probably do not suspect themselves of sympathy with a courtesan!

Ohio prevented poor Carmen’s smoking one of her own cigarettes, and, in one State or another, the majesty of the law raised the level of her decolletage, restrained from her baring the shoulder of her rival and interfered generally with her artless displays of temper and temperament.  “Carmen,” as amended and expurgated, must have borne a striking family resemblance to “Elsie Dinsmore.”

If I have failed to keep my promise, and be “excruciatingly funny,” you will admit that the censors are making it up to you.  “The Scarlet Letter” was passed, after considerable argument, but no children were permitted to witness it in Chicago.  To the contention that minors might read the book, answer was made that “a child of simple training and pure thoughts could read The Scarlet Letter, and, because of the purity and delicacy of its style, have no idea of its real meaning.”  Charming prospect!  To go through Hawthorne’s masterpiece from cover to cover without understanding a word of it!

At least, no “child of simple training and pure thoughts” would be likely to see in any picture what the censors seem to see.  Few children are nasty-minded.  A large section was cut from a photoplay called “The Warning” because there was a bed in the room adjoining the scene of action.  Of course, a bed could have none other than an immoral purpose.  How stupid of the producer not to have exchanged this obscene piece of furniture for a denatured divan.  In the picturization of a celebrated play objection was made to a title covering pantomime in which a capitalist told a woman that he would employ her husband.  The title read: “I’ve got a proposition to make to you.”  It was cut.  The censors couldn’t imagine a business proposition.

[…]

“Do you mean to say,” the board’s attorney thundered at me, “that you do not recognize this as a brothel?”

I admitted that I didn’t.

“The censors do,” said the attorney.

“Which only goes to prove,” I replied, “that the censors know more about brothels than I do.”

One of the members of the committee indicated that he had in mind the possible advisability of the classification of motion pictures–some for adults and some for children; and it was suggested that such a segregation might be desirable.  Our response to the suggestion is that that is one of the matters which, if left alone, will be worked out satisfactorily, first, by the parents of the children who attend motion picture theaters, and second, by the exhibitors themselves, and finally by the local authorities.  Certainly this can not be a proper matter for Congressional enactment.

It is said that the repeated depiction of crime in the motion pictures incites to the commission of crime.  We remind the committee that we know of no motion picture which, in exhibiting the commission of crime, fails to exhibit its rigorous punishment.  Whether such an exhibition teaches a desired lesson, or whether it may tend to incite weak-minded persons to the commission of crime, we are unable to determine.

We believe that this question, like the others, can only be satisfactorily solved by the local communities in which the exhibition of motion pictures is forced upon an unwilling public.  There are no exhibitions which must be seen by the public.  The public are required to pay for the privilege of seeing them.  If the exhibit is distasteful to the public it is certain that it will not pay its money only to be displeased by the exhibition.  So the whole matter of proposed regulation of what shall and what shall not be seen, in so far as it deals with matters of taste, sentiment, and opinion, is a matter with which no legislative body can have legitimate concern.

The substance of the argument presented showed that in reality while the terms “immoral picture,” “indecent picture,” “impure picture” were frequently used, what these proponents of the bill really wished to control were matters entirely within the domain of opinion, taste, and individual judgement.  The sentiments were freely expressed by these persons that there were too many drinking scenes, that there were too many scenes of adventure and hair-breadth escapes, and that the baneful cigarette was too much in evidence.

Finally, we say let there be a cessation of governmental interference with the duties and obligations of parents.  The responsibility for the welfare of the child rests primarily with the parents, and that responsibility can not successfully be assumed by Congress, nor can the burden be taken from the shoulders of the parents and placed upon those of any branch of the Government.

For all the reasons given, we respectfully urge the defeat of the bill.

That’s the last entry from Seabury, but there would be one more from Wilbur Crafts in support of the bill.  Some of it is repetition from statements made earlier.  Plus an argument about how censoring films is not the same as censoring stage plays.

The plea that if Federal censorship is applied to films, it should be applied to dramas, breaks down at several points.  Dramas travel in memories of actors, not in commercial cans, and vary as rendered by different actors and in different places.  Theaters need censorship, but it should be local censorship connected up with some bureau of information and warning.  The film cans are as much an interstate matter as the cans of beef to which the Federal Government wisely applies “prepublicity censorship.”

That, and an mention of how the commission would work in terms of rejection of a film, which not only bears resemblance to the more modern MPAA, but also to online video platforms such as YouTube.

If any film is rejected, the commission must clearly set forth what part or parts are objected to and why, and the film may be presented again for license if these parts are removed.

Ultimately, this revision to the Smith-Hughes act didn’t come to pass.  But it did serve as a severe warning as to how bad the backlash of the wild west film industry would be, with pressure from the churches, and from the government.  Primarily in the name of protecting the children, by a desire to force standards of decency onto producers.

What fascinates me is how this attempt to amend the Smith-Hughes Act isn’t all that known to this day.  And yet it set the groundwork for most, if not all, of the arguments to be made for and against film censorship.  Arguments still made to this day.  The event is significant not just because of the prevention of what almost occurred (though in hindsight, it ended up delaying what would later occur), but the statements made for and against.  Not to mention a giant fucking dose of Orwellian propaganda thrown in there.

There is one other thing worth pointing out about this event.  At two different times during the discussion for the act revision, it is stated that D.W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation is historically accurate and worth watching for educational purposes.  Another indication that people back then weren’t as educated as they should be, and thus more prone to propaganda meant to divide and inspire contempt for the fellow citizen.  The thing is, that can work both ways.  Failure to educate on other subjects that films falsely depict can carry similar consequences.  Like with Remember the Titans.  Or even Braveheart.

Firstly, the historical movies have a greater appeal than objective scholarly books and articles, or well-researched popular history books. Most people do not read academic history texts and engage in the research. Neither do I expect people to start doing so. Yet many people rely on history to inform them about their own identity, as well as cultural choices or preferences.

[…]

Thus, if people can be influenced to make purchases, and think about themselves, based on what they saw in a movie that presents untruths, then historical inaccuracies are very dangerous indeed.

Vincent Yam

 

 

Sources

https://archive.org/details/federalmotionpic00unit/page/n3

Steffes, Tracy L.  “Smith-Hughes Act”  Encyclopedia Britannica.    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Smith-Hughes-Act

Gadd, Morgan.  “The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917”  Texas FFA Association. March 14, 2015.  https://www.texasffa.org/news/The-SmithHughes-Act-of-1917

Sklar, Robert.  1994.  Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies.  Revised ed.  Vintage Books.  Random House Inc.  New York, NY.  Toronto, Canada.

Part 0Part 1Part 3 Part 2Part 4, Part 6

Repeating History: 1930s Communism vs. 2010s Globalism

There’s too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can’t you see
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

— Genesis, Land of Confusion

 

So many would worry about the status of the United States today.  What was once a mainly Christian-Conservative nation (which did have its own share of flaws, but plenty of upsides), is now transforming into a socialist/globalist nation.  Mainstream media vilifying anyone deviating from such political views, open borders, and being anything but straight and white.  Radical groups going after anyone challenging the change.  And only a few strong-willed individuals fighting against what seems to be a losing battle.

This is not something new.  This has happened before.  The biggest example would have to be the Red Scare.  Many would argue this was primarily about the Cold War, and the paranoia over Communist influence.  How Senator Joe McCarthy went after 80+ people unjustly with no grounds for his claims regarding them being Communists that pose a danger to the Democratic-Republic form of government.  How much of the red scare wound up being false flags, and much of the paranoia stirred up from people like McCarthy was simply a case of chasing one’s own shadow. And McCarthyism would be a term used from then to now, continually demonizing the man’s name to this very day.

Like how many demonize people like Donald Trump for claiming there’s a crisis at the border, that there is a serious issue with the crime rates due to illegal immigration, much less the voter fraud.  How others point out that this is part of some conspiracy fueled by people like George Soros who want globalism to happen, by putting in as many “refugees” as possible from chaotic third-world countries into first-world countries, bringing them down to their level.  Because once all major countries are in chaos, they will become easy pickings for corporate/communist/socialist/totalitarian overlords.  And anyone who challenges this threat becomes broken down and demonized themselves.

The similarities can be summed up with this quote from the novel Blacklisted By History:

To see the changing nature of the issue, we need only scan the report on domestic Communism compiled in 1930 by the Fish committee.  For its time a comprehensive wrap-up, this found the CPUSA to be a militant revolutionary group, mostly headed by alien leaders and drawing on a membership base heavily weighted to recent emigres, many of whom could not speak English.  That a Communist Party so led and constituted could penetrate the civilian ranks of the federal government–or make serious efforts to do so–occurred to practically no one.

In the next few years, however, the conditions recorded by the Fish committee, both in the Communist party and in the nation, would be altered in drastic fashion.  By the middle 1930s, the party would undergo a complete makeover in public image and at least a partial makeover in composition.  In the age of the “popular front,” the comrades shelved much of their violent,  revolutionary rhetoric; the cause would now be depicted by party boss Earl Browder and his agents as old-fashioned Americanism updated for the modern era.  In pursuit of this notion, the party adopted a stance of cooperating with other leftward and conventionally liberal forces for reform and social justice, peace, and other noble objects.

Simultaneously, and no-doubt aided by this tactic, there would be an influx into party ranks of native-born Americans, many fresh off the college campus, some from Anglo families dating back for generations.  The new arrivals gave the party a different kind of cadre, and cachet, that would be useful to it in numerous projects.  Foremost among these was the entry of party members into posts of influence in many walks of life, including academic and media jobs and government work for those inclined in that direction.

Aiding the infiltration process were the pell-mell methods of the First New Deal under President Franklin Roosevelt, who came to power in 1933 in the early stages of the Great Depression.  As is well known, Roosevelt and his advisers tried multiple panaceas to deal with unemployment, bank runs, a collapsed stock market, farm problems, and other economic troubles.  Subsidies, regulations, and new programs abounded.  This hurly-burly meant a lot of federal hiring.  It also drew into its vortex all manner of self-stylized planners and reformers anxious to get in on the action.  And nobody at this time was bothering to vet the new recruits for anti-Red credentials.

As a result of these conditions, a sizeable corps of Communists and fellow travelers would wind up on the federal payroll, together with a host of others susceptible to recruitment.

–p.51.  Evans

 

While the Communist threat didn’t do as much damage during that time period, up through the 60s at least, as many like McCarthy feared they would, damage was done.  And it is still being felt today.  Consider how many media/news sources demonize Catholicism Christianity and Capitalism, compared to Communism (either Russian or Chinese) from the 70s to the present (hint, there’s a curve).  How many demonize America for its involvement in Vietnam, compared to the havoc wrought by Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong.  How many demonize Republicans and Conservatives, compared to Democrats and Liberals and Socialists.  The condemning of the former tends to overshadow any condemning of the latter in each case.  And it’s not because true history is on their side, and not because it goes along with the facts, and not because it’s for the moral good.  It’s because many in power don’t want individualism and freedom to thrive.  Because individualists and those with freedom are more difficult to control.  And every Communist/Socialist nation needs control over the populace, so that those who rule can maintain a firm grip on their power.  Every Corporation wants to control and/or eliminate all potential competition so that they can remain on top.

The ironic thing about all this is that those in charge are themselves individuals, with their own needs and wants, with their own flaws and strengths.  Because it is human nature to desire wealth and power.  Wealth can be gained by earning it from your own work and being given it willingly from others, or by forcefully taking it from others.  Same thing applies to power.  The more wealth/power there is in the world, the more the most ambitious in the world will see for the taking.  The more technology advances and the more the world population grows, the more power/wealth there will be.  With technology that ends up making the world smaller by making travel and communication faster, it is only inevitable that the world will transform from those factions who each rule a nation, to a faction that rules the world.

Ooh superman where are you now
When everything’s gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

— Genesis, Land of Confusion

Is it possible to fight the good fight and win out in the end?  To have sense and compassion win out in the end?  Or will we succumb to what some consider to be the inevitable?  The downfall of once-great civilizations, the scattering of a once unified populace, only for the process to begin again?  The way I see it, populations are running out of places to run to.  The world isn’t as wide and open as it once was.  The cycle has to break, a sense of unity and progress has to be maintained.  Because if not, then it will be humanity that breaks.

They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  I say we only get so many repeats before it’s game over.  Those who won’t hear others out, who won’t be reasonable, who won’t compromise, who won’t think critically of events, who don’t question much of what they hear, will inevitably lead everyone into bloody conflict.  At this point, I don’t see any way out of this but through war.  And it could very well be the last war anyone fights, one way or another.  And if it doesn’t come down to war, then it comes down to being willingly and cumulatively poisoned to death.  There is a red scare.  And there will be blood to make the scare red.  It has already been shed.  It’s just a matter of how much more there will be until it ends.

We may not live long enough to allow science to progress to allow the human civilization (let alone Americans) to live on when the planet fails.  And if that is to be our fate, then all I can say is, “Well, it was good while it lasted.”

I wont be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know, we’ll never keep.

[…]

Now this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for.

This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to.

— Genesis, Land of Confusion

 

Source

Evans, M. Stanton.  (2007)  Blacklisted By History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.  New York, NY: Crown Forum

The War on Film Culture: Part 4: What Shall the History Books Read? (1915)

Oh I suppose it began when I was a child.  I used to get under the table and listen to my father and his friends talk about the battles they had been through in their struggles.  First these impress you deeply.  […]  You know, when you’ve heard your father fighting day after day, night after night, and having nothing to eat but parched corn.  A group of people fighting desperately against great odds.  Great sacrifices.  Suffering.  Death.  It was a great struggle, a great story.

— D.W. Griffith

1914, The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) begins to lobby aggressively for government regulation of films. The WCTU claims that films are “addictive,” that they glorify war and violence, and that they cause crime, delinquency and immoral behavior.  They were one of several religious organizations that began to rally against films for their content.

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The War on Film Culture: Part 3: Holding the Tongue (1913-1915)

The motion picture has entered every city and town of the country. It makes a widespread and subtle appeal to people of all ages and all degrees of mental development. In the short period of fifteen years it has established itself beside the book, the school, and the church as an instrument for moulding opinion.

— Orrin Cocks

The issue of censorship gained even more steam in April 16, 1913, when the state of Ohio passed an ordinance that allowed them to enforce censorship of films released in their state.  This formed an organization which stated that their objective “is to improve the moral quality of motion pictures.”  A fee had to be paid by film distributors in that state in order for it to be under consideration by the Ohio state commission, who would determine if the film should be released theatrically (the only way films could be seen at the time) in the state of Ohio.  If the commission deemed the film unfit or immoral for audiences in their state, it would be illegal for the film to be released there.  And any attempt to release the film in the state without approval would result in the arrest of the film distributors.

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