Film noir
(1,555 words)

A cycle of crime films in expressionist style, shot in the United States from the 1930s to the 1950s. The large number of Jewish émigrés among the directors of film noir is striking. Their affinity to gloomy, social-critical material goes back to Weimar cinema (Metropolis), and was further intensified by National Socialism and its consequences. With its expressionist aesthetics and high cultural ambition, film noir represented a counterpart to commercial Hollywood productions.

Film noir – French for “black film” (in the sense of dark, somber) is derived from the American roman noi…

Cite this page
Brook, Vincent, “Film noir”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017.. Consulted online on 18 June 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0230>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20180401



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