One of the first American films to refer to the Holocaust in a frank and honest manner was screened at the Semel Theater on April 4.
Singing in the Dark (1956) tells the story of Leo, a man with amnesia who moves to America with virtually no memory of his prior life, which involved losing his mother in a concentration camp and violent encounters with Nazi prison guards. The movie follows his therapy to regain his memory; his burgeoning love for Ruth, the therapist’s daughter; and his relationship with Joey, a former thug who becomes his manager. A famous singer before losing his memory, Leo begins to work again in American nightclubs. By the film’s conclusion, Leo recalls his past and reaches several shocking conclusions about his experiences during the Holocaust and as a Jewish man.
Unlike most movies of the time, Singing in the Dark addresses the plight of Holocaust victims in a way that is neither overbearing nor preachy, according to critics.
The School of Communication, the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Friends of the New England Holocaust Memorial organized the screening.
Photo Credit: Owen Hope