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The Oscars: Harvey Weinstein and the Holocaust

by  Joan Hyler

February 24, 2010 | 6:09 pm

For a second straight year the Oscars will have a Jewish themed/WWII movie indirectly dealing with the Holocaust produced, this year as last, by Harvey and Bob Weinstein who sold their high end movie company, Miramax, to Disney a few years ago.  Miramax (named famously for the Weinstein parents, Miriam and Max) was just sold by Disney, and Bob and Harvey’s Oscar nominated movie, this year is under the label The Weinstein Company, called “The Inglorious Bastards” stars Brad Pitt and is written and directed by “Pulp Fiction” and Miramax protégé Quentin Tarantino.  It’s a vivid and fantastic look at the Holocaust -more pulp pop fiction than last years’ Weinstein Company entry into the Oscars - the sober and somber quasi love story, “The Reader” set after the Holocaust which earned the director Stephen Daldry a best director nomination and star Kate Winslet the Oscar itself as leading actress.

I have known the Weinsteins since I lived in New York and they were starting out as rock and roll promoters from Buffalo, New York.  In the 90’s I produced a documentary for them “Get Bruce” about funnyman writer and Oscar contributor (he has written 21 Oscarcasts) Bruce Vilanch and in l998 my client Diane Lane played a Jewish woman married to Liev Schreiber in the Miramax movie “A Walk On the Moon” set in the 60’s in the Catskills about the love affair between a Jewish housewife and a travelling blouse man.

While the Weinstein frères do not tackle religious themes, they are unafraid of their Jewish roots and produce interesting star driven movies that highlight Jewish characters and are even unafraid of tackling aspects of Nazi Germany

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