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  • American Biopics and 20th Century Political Life

    Freitag, 07.10.2022 - 19:00 Uhr

Monthly multimedia exploration of popular literature and film with d.a.i. teacher Scott Stelle.

Since the 18th century, political biography and contemporary history have been bestsellers, providing a news-hungry public orientation to the present and recent past. Since this kind of information was heavily suppressed in absolutist regimes, speech in the United States became protected under the first amendment. Literature in the U.S. can only be censored for obscenity and defamation and yet this hasn’t stopped officials from trying to police and curtail the freedom of expression, which is the theme we shall explore this quarter through political and musical biopics.

Biographic films which reach a much wider audience than books have a subtle influence on the formation of public opinion. All films are narrative texts, yet some claim to be based in fact. Films that dramatize the lives of public figures follow the codes of the biographer and historian, who are notfree to invent their story, though theymay emphasize and omit certain events in the portrayal of a life.

Join us in a multimedia exploration of the ambiguous lives of influential and controversial Americans, who in the name of national security abused civil rights. We shall also take a closer look at America’s Red Scare and War on Drugs, the moral crusades that Roy Cohn, J. Edgar Hoover and Harry Anslinger drummed up to boost their own careers. While these men thrived on secrecy, threats, and illegal surveillance, they protected their own secretsfrom public scrutiny.

Fr. 7.10. Nicholas von Hoffman, Citizen Cohn (1988: film, 1992)
Fr. 4.11. Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential (1993: film: J. Edgar, 2011)
Fr. 2.12. Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream (2015: film: The United States vs. Billie Holiday, 2021)

In English

Location: d.a.i. hall

Admission: free

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Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Tübingen
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Tel. 07071-795 26-0 · Fax 07071-795 26-26
mail [at] dai-tuebingen.de · www.dai-tuebingen.de


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