‘Forbidden Films’ shows power, danger of propaganda films

A nitrate film vault in the Federal Film Archive in Hoppegarten, Germany. As seen in ‘Forbidden Films,’ a film by Felix Moeller. Photo: Zeitgeist Films

The Sandra and Mendel Rosenberg Sunday Afternoon Film Series returns Nov. 24 with “Forbidden Films,” a documentary examining the 1,200 feature films produced by Germany’s Third Reich.

Nearly 70 years after the end of the Nazi regime, more than 40 of these films remain under lock and key. Director Felix 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 film clips, Moeller shows how contentious these 70-year-old films remain, and how propaganda can retain its punch when presented to audiences susceptible to manipulation.

Introductory remarks and post-screening discussion facilitated by Warren Rosenblum, chair of the History, Politics, and International Relations Department at Webster University. As visiting fellow at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Rosenblum  pursued research for his project, “The Feeble-Minded in Germany: Between Sympathy and Persecution.”

The 2019 Sunday Afternoon Film Series takes place at 1 p.m. at the Holocaust Museum & Learning Center Theater, Kaplan Feldman Complex, 12 Millstone Campus Drive.

All screenings are free of charge. Please RSVP for each film at HMLC.org/Rosenberg-Film-Series. More information is available by contacting Lory Cooper at 314-442-3711 or [email protected].