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From:
       MOESSNER VICTORIA J <[log in to unmask]>

Fri 12:30

    To:
       Norman Holland <[log in to unmask]>




Dear Saundra, In comparison to Juerik Becker's Jacob the Lier (Jakob der
Lueger) Life is Beautiful is terrible, trivial, superficial. Becker was
a
death camp survivor. I agree with much of Sander Gilman's annalysis of
the
feminization of the Jewish male at the beginning of the century which in
part helped lead to the holocaust. I do not have time to look up quotes,
etc. to support my theories, but I assure you I have read, and listened
to, many accounts from all sides. You are right about the use of comedy
in
the face of terror, something well evidenced in East European and German
comedy. As an old Berliner said to me in 1959 when I stupidly asked him
how he could live in Berlin: Well, if you stare down a Soviet tank
barrel
twenty-four hours a day, you have to make a joke of it, but not the kind
in that movie, whose title is even offensive.
Well, back to work. I have a test to make up.
Sincerely, Victoria J. Moessner

On Fri, 29 Jan 1999, Norman Holland wrote:

> From:
>        "saundra segan wheeler" <[log in to unmask]>
>
> Thu 11:48
> rom:  Saundra Segan  [log in to unmask]
> To:  MOESSNER VICTORIA J <[log in to unmask]>
> >
> I am turly sorry you were offended by the film Life is Beautiful, and I
> agree that the Holocaust reveals the darkest side of human nature.
> However,
> I also believe that succumbing to a preconceived stereo-types of Jews
> and
> placing that perception over the characters in this film simplifies the
> film
> too much.  I do not see superficial trivialization but instead see how
> complex a medium comedy can be.  We can go all the way back to
> ACBradley's
> notion about Shakespeare's work that noted the distinction between
> comedy
> and tragedy to be that S's treagedies dealt with the permanents of life
> and
> his comedies with the accidents.  In this film you have a tension
> between
> the two that is masterful in revealing how comedy can become an
> imaginative
> defense in the face of madness and terror that might otherwise produce
> only
> more madness and terror.
> Saundra Segan
>