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Preview Screening: The U.S. & The Holocaust

Date and Time
Monday, July 25, 2022 7:30 PM (PT)

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and KQED Live present a special preview of the new three-part documentary The U.S. & The Holocaust from PBS by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein, exploring America's response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history and how it tested the ideals of democracy.

The filmmakers join veteran KQED host Michael Krasny for an onstage conversation about the series following the screening.


About the Film

Looking at the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States and race laws in the American South, The U.S. & The Holocaust sheds light on what the U.S. government and American people knew and did and did not do as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe.

By investigating events leading up to and during the Holocaust with fresh eyes, Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sara Botstein dispel the competing myths that Americans either were ignorant of what was happening to Jews in Europe, or that they merely looked on with callous indifference. The truth is much more nuanced and complicated. The film features a fascinating array of historical figures including President Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Dorothy Thompson, and Rabbi Stephen Wise, as well as Anne Frank and her family. Holocaust witnesses interviewed in the film include Guy Stern, who recently turned 100 years old. The U.S. and the Holocaust is narrated by Peter Coyote, with voice actors including Hope Davis, Paul Giamatti, Elliott Gould, Werner Herzog, Liam Neeson, Meryl Streep, Bradley Whitford and Helena Zengel. Ultimately, the viewer is asked to think differently about history as the challenges that the American people confronted then raise questions that remain essential to society today, as our global community continues to face rising nativism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism.

The U.S. and the Holocaust premieres on KQED September 18–20, 2022

About the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

SFJFF is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind and a leader in the curation and presentation of new film and media exploring the complexity of Jewish life and identity around the world. SFJFF showcases more than sixty films each year for thousands of in-person and online audience members and industry professionals, curating a bold lineup of dramatic and documentary features, episodic programs, and experimental, and animated projects that reflect life through a Jewish lens. Since its founding in 1980, SFJFF has cultivated and championed emerging and established filmmakers throughout their careers, helping to launch new artistic voices on a national and international scale.