This essay argues that Inglourious Basterds’s self-conscious Americanization of the Holocaust functions as a critique of American popular culture’s tendency to adopt the Holocaust as a screen memory. Rather than participating in this phenomenon, though, the film uses postmodern parody and what I term “historiographic metacinema” to lay bare the ways in which Hollywood representations of the Holocaust have shaped, and in some cases have distorted, public memory of the event. In its revision of history, I suggest, the film calls attention to the appropriation of Holocaust memory by American popular culture and consequently draws attention to America’s reluctance to confront its own legacy of racial prejudice.
"Bastardized History: How Inglourious Basterds Breaks through American Screen Memory,"
Jewish Film & New Media: Vol. 3:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/jewishfilm/vol3/iss2/2