University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Jean-Luc Godard, anti-Semite?

Jean-Luc Godard, anti-Semite?

Bruno Chaouat, director


It was recently announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Jean-Luc Godard, the Swiss-French filmmaker, will receive an honorary Oscar at this year's ceremony (see article from Jewish Journal posted by CHGS on October 16th, 2010). With this announcement came articles, blog posts and op-eds referring to the filmmaker's real or alleged anti-Semitism.

It is important for the world of scholarship to connect with current events, and we post these articles in order to examine these events with a sense of nuance and depth that the complexity of culture and history requires. While journalism often makes the complexity of the world accessible at the cost of simplifying it, the mission of an academic center such as ours is to approach this complexity with rigor, scientific and intellectual integrity and without sensationalizing.

It is particularly timely that Professor Philip Watts from Columbia University will speak in April about Godard, WWII, the Jews and the Holocaust at CHGS's lecture series, "Alternative Narratives or Denial?" Professor Watts will examine portions of Godard's work and discuss how his history may have shaped and informed his cinematographic choices which have led to the anti-Semitic charges.

We look forward to this exchange, and will continue to look at current events and provide a platform to lead us into deeper inquiry beyond the headlines.