Yesterday, as our own intrepid critic Amy Nicholson reported, the Cannes screening of The BFG drew more than 2,000 critics and fans, a crowd so dense and wild with lust that it edged Amy herself out of a seat. The film, following the travails of a big friendly giant, was adapted by Steven Spielberg from the novel of the same name by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl. At least a dozen ferociously popular and lucrative films have been wrought from Roald Dahl’s books, including Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. Also, Roald Dahl is a raging, self-professed anti-Semite and a Hitler apologist.
When asked at Cannes about Dahl’s Jew-hating, Hitler-empathizing proclivities, the Jewish director of Schindler’s List replied that he “wasn’t aware of any of Roald Dahl’s personal stories.” “I was focused on the story [Dahl] wrote,” said Spielberg. “I had no idea of anything that was purportedly assigned to him, that he might have said.”
A person who does not hate Jews is Judy Blume, a similarly beloved novelist, albeit one who is often dismissed and ghettoized as a YA author for girls, and whose books have often been banned for their frank discussions of puberty and burgeoning sexuality. Blume is, by all accounts, an extremely lovely person who often wears galoshes and lives a gorgeous life in Key West while encouraging empathy and intellectual and personal freedom. Approximately one film has been made based on her books. It is called Tiger Eyes, and it made $27,000 at the box office.
Can you tell Roald Dahl’s insidious Jew-hating from Judy Blume’s basic kindness and humanity? Test your knowledge below!