Although Casablanca (1942) has been called “everyone’s favorite émigré film,” in the memorable formulation by Thomas Elsaesser, rarely is it discussed in this vein. Drawing on research undertaken for his recent book, Isenberg seeks to refocus attention on the dozens of refugees at work on both sides of the camera, on the strangely evocative if also veiled commentary on historical events, and on the furtive references to Jews and other targets of Nazi persecution. One of the most cherished love stories and wartime dramas of the studio era may also be seen as one of the earliest and most successful films to address the menace of National Socialism, the flight of European refugees, and the personal stories embodied in even the most minor characters portrayed on screen.
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Earlier Event: May 6Avalon Theatre, Washington, DC with NPR's Susan Stamberg
Later Event: November 8Public Lecture at GSU's Humanities Research Center // Atlanta, GA