BEST JEWISH EXPERIENCE DOCUMENTARY Jerusalem Film Festival (1998)
Salt Lake City Jewish Film Festival (2008)
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (2003)
Based on Neal Gabler's best-selling book An Empire of Their Own, this feature-length documentary tells the story of the men who founded Hollywood. Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount; Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal; the Warner brothers, Harry and Jack; Louis B. Mayer, founder of MGM; William Fox of 20th Century Fox; and Harry Cohn, head of Columbia. All were immigrants, or children of immigrants, who wanted to reinvent themselves as Americans. In the process, they reinvented America.
First hand accounts of the movie moguls' lives are told through a series of original interviews with their children and grandchildren, and with comments by film historians, critics, actors and producers.
"From Neal Gabler's brilliant and bristling best-seller... Simcha Jacobovici has made an equally impressive documentary... guaranteed to raise both consciousness and hackles... provocative and engaging... "
- John Leonard, New York Magazine
"Stunning... a lucid, inviting work of social history... shrewdly on target."
- Caryn James, The New York Times
"After seeing Hollywoodism, it would be impossible to ever sit through a Western again and not be aware of the nightmarish pogrom subtext of burning homesteads and range wars. The shtetls of Europe, where the mogels came from, were transformed into idealized images of white-picket-fence America, with their reverence for mother figures and community."
-Jay Carr, The Boston Globe
Jews, Movies and the American Dream
USA, 1997, 100 minutes, color/B&W
Directed by Simcha Jacobovici
Public Exhibition 16mm, Beta Rental available