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Directed by Leo Hurwitz

United States 1948 71 mins.

Hurwitz, while known best for his Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning film covering the 1962 Adolf Eichmann war crimes trial as well as his blacklist during the McCarthy period, had been working in the documentary field since the 1930s and in 1948 delivered Strange Victory, a caustic examination of American race relations in the immediate post-WWII period. The film piercingly illuminates the systemic hypocrisy through which this period would ultimately be viewed, where European liberation from Nazi rule and its aftermath uncomfortably paired with our nation’s own racial struggles in a pre-Civil-Rights era, a fraught situation which continues to resonate profoundly today. Timely in its restoration and re-release, Strange Victory is a film in which “the doubts that were growing, even from 1945’s summer of great hope, are delivered as a play of light and shadow, something that is profoundly connected to the very essence of cinema.”—Peter Von Bagh.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.