Antisemitism

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Gentleman’s Agreement

Ah Gregory Peck, how you mesmerised us in To Kill a Mockingbird. A movie I haven’t seen if I’m to be honest, but it’s the first thing that came to mind when beginning this post. A movie of his that I did see, however, is Gentleman’s Agreement. I watched it over the Christmas Holiday and I made a mental note of it, actually I created a draft in WordPress with the title. I figured now is as good a time as any to bring it up again.

I like old black & white movies, so I’m pre-disposed to like this type of movie. You too? Great. You should rent this one if you haven’t already seen it. It’s about a man named Philip Green (played by Peck), he’s a reported whose assignment is to write a series about antisemitism. At first he’s kind of underwhelmed by the idea since he believes, as does everyone else in the movie apparently except for the editor who gave him the assignment in the first place, that this story has already been written to death. Philip Green is no anti-Semite, but he just doesn’t see what HE could possibly bring to the table.

Wait, there’s a twist. One night, after a conversation with his mother (what a great mom) he comes up with an idea. He goes undercover and pretends the be Jewish. After all, he just moved to the city and no one knows him there. What ensues, is his realization of how people’s attitude towards him change by simply telling them he’s Jewish. He doesn’t alter anything else about himself. There’s no stereotypical caricature. The only thing that changes is other people’s perception of him.

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