Bad taste in the cinema

Francine Stock is quite right to condemn La Vita e Bella (The Back Half, 12 February). Chaplin's The Great Dictator was made before all knowledge of the Holocaust was available. To try to joke about it now is obscene. On a similar level, the film My Mother's Courage was in appalling taste and, unbelievably, also shown at the East Finchley Phoenix cinema's week-long festival of Jewish films. I walked out at the point when men were laughingly exchanging hats before entering the gas chambers.

Sigrid Rabiger
London NW11

This article first appeared in the 19 February 1999 issue of the New Statesman, We are richer than you think