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Colchester Trades Union Council
Holocaust Memorial Day


Held SUNDAY 29 JANUARY, 12 noon - 4.00pm

Firstsite Gallery,
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester CO1 1JH

PASTOR HALL (1940)

'Pastor Hall' (1939) Seymore Hicks, Nova Pilbeam. Wilfrid LawsonPastor Hall Wilfrid Lawson, Nova Pilbeam, Marius Goring

How many films are there concerning
concentration camps and suffering and
oppression? Certainly not many previous
to the actual holocaust comemorated,
like the Boulting brothers' Pastor Hall and
Chaplins' The Great Dictator.

Both films were made to influence and
inform the public of the nature of facism and the necessity to fight it at a time of appeasement and USA neutrality. The Nazis had not yet murdered Niemoller when the Boultings made their film about him, and Chaplin said that had he known of the full Nazi horrors at the time he could not have made The Great Dictator.

This film by the Boulting twins, directed by Roy and produced by John, who was recently returned from Spain as an ambulance driver in the International Brigade, shows how intolerance and persecution take hold over a society that allows itself to slide into a Fascist nightmare.

Pastor Hall was produced seventy-seven years ago by independent film makers John and Roy Boulting trading as "Charter Films." They purchased the rights to film the play. The film censor did not approve the script of such subject matter while Mr Chamberlain was then making peace talks with Herr Hitler. Production was delayed. Only when war was declared could production go ahead as propaganda especially to influence and inform neutral United States. Their next film, "Thunder Rock" was also made to counter United States' isolationism.

Many know the history of Nazi atrocities through tv documentaries and modern films. We may not appreciate the significance of these contemporarily-made films on the subject without our imagination being primed before a showing and the chance of a discussion afterwards. This holocaust commemoration may inform and stimulate the fight against resurgence of racism and xenophobia which is not natural to humankind. This is the purpose within these films. But you cannot have a flag day alone without fighting the capitalism that thrives on war and misery that creates refugees and migration that demogogues use to delude us.

This 77 year old film print being shown today is the original British release carrying the cetificate ‘A’ Printed on Kodak manufactured print stock dated with edge code for 1942, it is an original 16mm print with sharp detail and excellent contrast. (There will be a short break for reel change).

Many British films persist in altered and shortened versions. The shortened and cen-
sored American version ‘produced by James Roosevelt’ includes an explanatory speech by his mother Eleanor tagged on at the begining and also had dubbed cod-German accents added to the soundtrack. It is certain that dialogue with the words socialism or communism is cut from the US version which runs seven minutes shorter and, considering the addition of the introductory speech, made the cuts more.

Order to Report to Gaumont Cinema, Jersey for Deportation to Germany Deportation order for British family - Report to Gaumont Cinema, Jersey. Three years incarceration at Biberach, Germany.


 

Organised in association with Colchester Stand up to Racism and Colchester 6th form
College Friends not Foes Group.
For more information e-mail sutrcolchester@gmail.com or see the Facebook page

 

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