On Wednesday, November 30th at 7:30pm the SinaiFree Film Society will engage in a provocative conversation about the classic novel and film starring Bela Lugosi. We will explore issues such as:

  • Does Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel incorporate antisemitic tropes, such as the blood libel and a fear of outsiders from Eastern Europe? Dracula, a stranger from the East, comes to London at a time of social unrest.
  • Does the 1931 film contain images or dialogue that could be interpreted as antisemitic?
  • What role do “invasion stories” and fear of the outsider play in reflecting – or contributing to – racism and antisemitism?
  • What parallels do we see between Victorian England, the world in 1931, and today’s social and political climate?
  • Is there a difference between casual and deep-rooted racism and antisemitism – and does it matter?

We have put together a number of articles and images to stimulate our conversation:

  • Themes to explore. You may think of others! Feel free to follow as many of the links as you like.
  • A physical description of Dracula from the novel.
  • Letters from Bela Lugosi pleading for help from the U.S. government in resettling 320 Hungarian Jews in 1944. Lugosi was president of the Hungarian-American Council for Democracy, which actively worked to help the Jews of Hungary.

For more information about this meeting and the Film Society, contact Joel Wald at waldspeak@gmail.com.