PELHAM, NY — The Picture House Regional Film Center (TPH) will show a special screening of the documentary film Forbidden Films: The Hidden Legacy of Nazi Films followed by a discussion and Q&A with the director of the film Felix Moeller.
According to experts, of the 1,200 feature films made in Germany’s Third Reich. 100 of these were blatant Nazi propaganda. Nearly seventy years after the end of the Nazi regime, more than 40 of these films remain under lock and key. Forbidden Films: The Hidden Legacy of Nazi Films is director Felix Moeller’s exploration of the pros and cons of the possible release of these films. Moeller interviews German film historians, archivists, and filmgoers in an investigation of the power, and potential danger, of cinema when used for ideological purposes. Utilizing clips from the films and recorded discussions from public screenings (permitted in Germany in educational contexts) in Munich, Berlin, Paris, and Jerusalem, Moeller shows how contentious these 70-year-old films remain, and how propaganda can retain its punch when presented to audiences susceptible to manipulation.
The New York Times said of the film when it was released in May 2015, “Forbidden Films is a documentary fascinated with and fearful of cinema’s potency, but it’s also devoted to the idea of open discourse, a stance that underlines the urgency of thinking about film critically.”
After the film, TPH Director of Programming Clayton Bushong will lead a post-film discussion with the film’s director Felix Moeller. An author, director and producer with a Ph.D. in History, Moeller wrote and directed the documentaries The Verhoevens (2003), Hildegard Knef – The Early Years (2005), Katja Riemann (2006), Harlan – In the Shadow of Jew Süss (2009), and Forbidden Films (2014). He was also the producer or co-producer of Julia Franck (documentary, 2009), Harlan – In The Shadow of Jew Süss and Forbidden Films as well as the German-French feature films Queen To Play (2009), Small World (2010) and Diplomacy (2014). He was a researcher and consultant for a great number of documentary and feature films like The Power of Image: Leni Riefenstahl (1992), One Day in September (1999), Marlene Dietrich – Her Own Song (2001), Rosenstrasse (2003), Napola (2004) and Hannah Arendt (2012).