The Devil's Arithmetic Essay

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The Devil’s Arithmetic, based on author Jane Yolen’s novel, is a 1999 film that aims to educate viewers about the horror, importance, and impact of the Holocaust. The director, Donna Deitch, depicts the journey of a modern teenager, with an apathetic view of her Jewish heritage, who travels back in time during her family’s Seder feast to a concentration camp in 1941. The protagonist experiences the terror of the Holocaust first hand as she develops a new, appreciative meaning for her existence and family’s history. The film serves as a non-violent and efficient way to inform young viewers, who may be uneducated or disinterested, of the Holocaust. This is especially true when considering the film’s engaging plot, cinematic techniques that recreate the horror of the Holocaust, and the film’s primary purpose. …show more content…

The film begins with the main character, Hannah Stern, being indecisive about what tattoo she should get with her friends. Before she can decide, she is obligated to leave the tattoo parlor for her family’s Passover dinner. Hannah despises the dinner every year due to her being disinterested and embarrassed by her Jewish relatives and heritage. She is also constantly reminded of how much she looks like her Aunt Ava’s cousin who she was named after, which irritates her. During the dinner, Hannah is asked to open the door as part of the Seder feast. As Hannah opens the door, she is transported to 1941 Poland and unknowingly becomes her Aunt Ava’s, formally known as Rivkah, cousin as she steps into the life of a prisoner in a German concentration

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