The JTA wrote up an event a while back, in mid-December, about a screening of Inglourious Basterds and the “Jewish reaction.” It’s an interesting read. Apparently the discussion about the film turned into a general discussion about revenge fantasies. I recently caught an interview with Tarantino on Fresh Air where he talks about how he wondered what would have happened if the Jews during the Holocaust had fought back like the Apache Indians — small little vicious groups that scare people.¬† It definitely makes sense to view the film that way, playing out the idea of a small but ferocious band of Apaches.
Here is part of the JTA article:
Back in September, Moline told his congregants: ‚ÄúTo my surprise, my complete and utter surprise, there was something cathartic and deeply satisfying watching this revenge fantasy play out. It was as if something I did not dare admit — my secret blood lust to do unto them what they did unto us — was being acknowledged, permitted and validated. I was liberated from victim hood.‚Äù
Someone passed a copy of the sermon along to Bender, who loved it and reached out to Moline, eventually leading to the event this week at the seminary, the producer told JTA.
In the end, the night turned out to be less of a moral and theological debate about the permissibility of revenge, than a high-brow and entertaining infomercial for the benefits of revenge fantasies. No one was suggesting that scalping captured German soldiers and beating them with clubs would be kosher, but everyone seemed to agree that there was nothing treif about enjoying Tarantino‚Äôs film.
Read more over at the Jewish Telegraph.
So, people think that there is a large Jewish population within the Academy. This has never really been proved nor investigated, but it is what people think — and when The Passion of the Christ was shut out, everyone claimed it was Mel’s Jew hate.
At any rate, this also could bolster Basterds chances at the Oscars. I’m not saying “Hey, Jews like it so the Academy will!” But maybe that if people were worried of the Jewish members of the Academy freaking out about it, perhaps that is off base.
One thing that is for certain about Basterds, and it is probably more true of it than any other film in the Oscar race: it is directed with a purpose, every frame has been thought through.