Thursday, October 23, 2008

A reference to the Holocaust

Hi everyone,

This is the sequence which comes right after the previous typewriter scene. I'm so glad that you could connect with this in class (though I did have my doubts). To take Jake's advice, I'm going to leave it alone for now - and perhaps wait and see if this works in the context of the entire animatic. My biggest concern here is to avoid making an overly simplistic representation that would seem impersonal. I don't want to be spoon feeding this information either. That is the problem with using iconic images, I guess.

Before I started this, I did some more research. I searched an online photo archives to look at images of the trains. Also, I found that many Holocaust memorial monuments use the image of the hand in some way.

I also asked my grandmother how she would feel about images of trains. I mentioned that I thought it would be a bit harsh. She replied that "it's the truth, and it is harsh". She's absolutely right, but it's still not obvious to me that this sequence fits into my project.

It must seem weird to you that I'm being so critical about this, but there is a reason.

There are all sorts of ways people express their ideas about this history, and some of them, intentionally or not, seem disrespectful.

I happen to watch a CNN video report last year, which was about a German children's comic book that was made to explain the history of the Holocaust. Personally, I think this comic book is offensive. I find it's a cheap way to show kids what was happening. If you're interested, here is a link (just to warn you - this report has some documentary footage that is difficult to watch):

I don't really think that I'm doing something that is similar to this (also, animation is different from comic books, of course). But I think it's also important to look at something which, to me, is just crossing the line. In any case, I'm just trying to be as respectful as possible.

Here is also a link to the film "Silence" (which we watched last year in Prof. Panushka's class). You can see how the trains were shown there. Watching it for the second time, I think it's extremely well done.