The film reviews contained in this volume cover a wide spectrum—from James Cameron’s Titanic and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ to the award-winning A Separation by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and films of emerging Chinese directors. Several essays discuss the work of talented and principled artists of the 1930s and 40s who sought to bring a sense of humanity to their work. Walsh details the fate of many who fell victim to the anti-communist McCarthyite witch-hunts of the 1950s.
A recurring theme in these writings is the profound effect this historical period has had on Hollywood filmmaking in the ensuing years. Walsh consistently returns to the crisis of contemporary filmmaking and the inability, or unwillingness, of so many of today’s directors to see the world as it is and feel compelled to grapple with social reality as millions experience it.