Nathan Schultz Blog 9

This movie was fascinating on many different levels. From all angles: as social commentary of the anti-semtic world, an observation into the world of the late 1940s, and the bizarre modern parallels. The movie A Gentleman’s Agreement  a play on the name of a scene in that later part of the movie where the love interest mentions how a neighborhood she lives in had a “gentleman’s Agreement” to not have any jewish people live in their neighborhood. The lead character being appalled about the notion of the idea of anti-semtism being a gentlemanly thing. 

For being a social commentary of the time, this movie seems to tell the story of how bad Jewish people had during the 1940s and what they had to deal with on the regular. They tell this story to one journalist to tell everyone that he is a jew. The condescending racism that he experiences is endemic to the world they lived in. Even not a cognitive bias or racism instead they highlight those cognitive biases that people experience. This idea of a cognitive bias, or that people who thought they were not anti-Semitic did in fact use the racist terminology and stereotypes.

 As for an interesting window into the world of the 1940s, this is a post holacaust world where people still act racist and anti-semsetic towards the people. An example is where he tries to book his honeymoon he chooses to confront the hotel about not allowing a jew book a room. The sudden racism that exists in the world is either a true depiction of the world of the 1940s or where it is a dramatization to tell a condensed and blown up story. Questions like Zionism were brought out during a house party with a scientist who, in a sense, the audience thought was jewish, even though he was not. So they even played the audience to the stereotype of names and his look as to the rasim. 

This movie also has a bizarre modern parallel as for the message of the movie. They idea, that someone can still say that they are not racist but in fact still participate in a racist system. Or how people need to actively pariente in their system rather than being a bystander on the issues of the world. There is also an interesting notion of the modern social justice movement in the movie and how the story is broken of his jewishness.

The movie A Gentleman’s Agreement tells an interesting and eye-opening experience of a jew in America during the 1940s. Through the lens of one man outside of the system of systemic racism all condensed in one movie. A movie that tells a story of the not so perfect modern world. 

3 thoughts on “Nathan Schultz Blog 9

  1. I was surprised to see how anti-semitism was so rampant in a post-WWII and post-holocaust America and how the film wanted to portray how people still participated in a racist system. While I knew that people still at the time had indirect antisemitic beliefs, I was surprised to see how much Jewish people were pushed away from certain businesses. I agree that some aspects of the film bizarrely fits with conversations that happen today. It is interesting how a film from the 40s can have a lot that someone can take away about living in a society that has a racist system and people that continue to participate in it.

  2. It really interested me, to see the way in how Jewish people were being treated. It was 1947, and it had been two years since the end of the war. Not to mention, that the holocaust had just occurred in Europe.

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