This post originally appeared on October 25, 2010.
It was inevitable. Given the increasing pressure on liberals, especially artists and writers, including Jewish artists and writers, to prove that they have the right/left politics–properly pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, anti-Judaism, and anti-American–Hollywood is giving an Honorary Academy Award to French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, an historically important director but a raving and unapologetic anti-Semite, a man who is obsessed with the Jews.
Godard has also described Israel as a “cancer on the map of the Middle East;” visually, in paired flickering images, has compared Golda Meir to Hitler in one of his films; defended the 1972 Palestinian terrorist massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich and suggested that an image of the Palestinian camps should be “broadcast before every Olympics finale;” justified Arab terrorism by describing Israel as a “paradoxical form of Nazism;” insisted that German television is “financed by Zionists,” and demanded that the Germans, instead, allow “us” to buy “weapons for the Palestinians to attack Zionists.” In one of his many films, “A Married Woman,” Godard has a character state: “ Today, in Germany, I said to someone, ‘How about if tomorrow, we kill all the Jews and the hairdressers?’ He replied, ‘Why the hairdressers?’”
In other words, Godard, in both his films, and in interviews, is an out-of-control racist and he has wielded his considerable cinematic talent and influence to legitimize a far less talented industry of exterminationist propaganda against the Jews and Israel.
In a sense, Godard is a French Leni Reifenstal. She was Hitler’s favorite actress and film director and brilliantly, visually, cinematically, glorified Nazi fascism. Reifenstal had no shame, no regrets, no sense of moral culpability and she went on to live a very long and productive life.
Like Reifenstal, Godard is some kind of monster. But, like the Nazi doctors, both filmmakers have still passed the cinematic equivalent of their medical boards.
I understand: Godard is one of Hollywood’s quintessential heroes, a man whose work they grew up on, someone who has directed the legendary Jean Paul Belmondo and Brigitte Bardot. Those in Hollywood who have voted to give him this award (43 men and women were involved) are nostalgic for their own youth. Like Michael Moore, who was one of the 43, they may agree with Godard’s views—or they may simply view his Jew-hatred as a minor and irrelevant sin which should not detract from the importance of his films.
Look: With precious exceptions too numerous to mention, these people are in the entertainment business, they are not rocket scientists or moral magicians. The fact that Hollywood now holds the entire universe captive to its hard Left views, carefully embeds such views into its Great American Dream Factory, is not a power they wield with a conscious and grave sense of responsibility. They do not view themselves as responsible for what people do after they’ve been exposed to their images and stories. They view people as having a free choice.
Hey, pornographers do not view themselves as responsible for how women are viewed in society and see no connection between pornography and the fact that women are raped or raped-and-tortured by serial sex killers. The entertainment industry believes in making money and having fun; sometimes, they subsidize inspired acting and produce quality scripts.