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Unmaking/Remaking Stereotypes: Jewish Gangsters as Heroes and Villains

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

Over eight enlightening weeks, we delve into the tapestry of Jewish representation, both overt and subtle, in Hollywood’s history. From the pioneering Jewish visionaries who shaped global cinema to the enduring fascination with biblical narratives and the layers they hold, we uncover the intersections of culture and storytelling. We also confront and deconstruct stereotypes through the lens of Jewish gangsters and explore how cinema has exposed and healed societal ills. As we transition to adaptations of literature and the works of renowned directors like Steven Spielberg, we question the Jewish elements that lie beneath the surface. At the end of the series, we spotlight the roles of Jewish women in the industry and explore both the visible and invisible aspects of Jewishness in film, from unspoken identities to bold declarations.
Unmaking/Remaking Stereotypes: Jewish Gangsters as Heroes and Villains
I. Hyman Rothstein (aka Meyer Lansky) and The Godfather
II. Tough Jews in Once Upon a Time in America
III. Bugsy Siegal as Jewish Anti-Hero

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