In the final months of 2008, moviegoers were confronted with an uncommon number of films dealing with Nazism and the Holocaust—and promptly ignored them all. From the erotic silliness of The Reader to the misbegotten Tom Cruise thriller Valkyrie to the rousing, if routine Hollywood drama of Defiance, the defining horror of the twentieth century was dressed up with hopes of multiplex glory—or at least an Academy Award or two.

Why revisit the subject yet again? Picturing the Shoah, a monthlong film series presented at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, proposes an exploration of how movies have represented the Holocaust from radical, provocative, and unexpected angles.

Programmed by Nathan Lee, film critic for The New York Times and a contributing editor of Film Comment magazine, the series features post-screening discussions with notable critics (Kent Jones, Stuart Klawans, Lisa Schwarzbaum) as well as an extended look at Godard’s relationship to the Holocaust featuring Richard Brody, film critic for The New Yorker and author of Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard.