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Art, Art History and Film

John Michalczyk

fine arts department

photo of John Michalczyk


Professor/Director, Film Studies

Ph.D. Harvard University, 1972

Devlin Hall 420
617-552-4295 (main office)

Fields of Interest

Film history (European/Latin American) and film production (Documentary filmmaker); socio-political art/literature/film; genocide/Holocaust studies; Irish Studies.

Academic Profile

Professor Michalczyk has been teaching at Boston College since 1974. His courses primarily deal with literature, art, and film in a socio-political context. Since 1992, he has produced 9 documentary films for PBS television and national and international distribution. These deal with historical events such as World War II and the Holocaust, as well as situations of conflict resolution, be they in Northern Ireland or Israel.



  • 2014 - Filming the End of the Holocaust: Allied Documentaries, Nuremberg and the Liberation of the Concentration Camps (Bloomsbury Academic)
  • 2013 - Through a Lens Darkly: Films of Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing and Atrocities (with Rev. Raymond Helmick, S.J.; published by Peter Lang)
  • 2009 - Conflict Resolution Films: Reconciling with the Other: A Curriculum Guide (eds. John J. Michalczyk/Raymond Helmick)
  • 2007 - Religion, Human Rights & the Gulag 
  • 2003 - Confront: Resistance in Nazi Germany (Peter Lang, Pub.)
  • 1997 - The Resisters, the Rescuers, and the Refugees (Sheed & Ward)
  • 1994 - Medicine, Ethics, and the Third Reich: Historical and Contemporary Issues (Sheed & Ward)
  • 1986 - Italian Political Filmmakers (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press)
  • 1984 - Costa-Gavras: The Political Fiction Film (Arts Alliance Press)
  • 1980 - The French Literary Filmmakers (Arts Alliance Press)
  • 1977 - Ingmar Bergman: La Passion d’être homme aujourd’hui (Beauchesne, Paris)
  • 1977 - André Malraux’s Film Espoir: Art and Propaganda in the Spanish Civil War (University, Mississippi Press)


  • On film and its relations to literature and the arts in: American Society Legion of Honor; Annali d’Italiansistica; Cineaste; Cinema (Paris); Cinema and Society (Paris) Contemporary French Civilization; Current Research in Film; French Review; Literature /Film Quarterly; Magill’s Cinema Annual; Mélanges Malraux Miscellany; Stanford French Review; Twentieth Century, Cambridge Press Scholars Literature; Boston Globe. 


  • 2009 - “The Psychology of the Bystander and ‘The Other’ in Holocaust Film,” in Jonathan Friedman’s Performing Difference: Representations of The Other in Film and Theatre (with Susan Michalczyk).
  • 2008 - “Père Ubu: Archtype of Social Dysfunction,” in Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault 1871-1958, McMullen Museum of Art Catalogue, pp. 229-245.
  • 2007 - “Art in WWI,” in In a New Key, McMullen Museum of Art Catalogue.
  • 2006 - “In the Eye of the Storm: Controversies and Americanization of Holocaust Film,” in American Popular Culture: Historical and Pedagogical Perspectives, Seymour Leventman, ed. Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 12-21.
  • 2004 - “Celluloid Passion,” in Philip Cunningham’s Pondering the Passion.
  • 2003 - “Troubled Silences: Trauma in John Huston’s Film Let There Be Light,” in Matelski/Street’s War and Film (with Susan Michalczyk) [Reprinted in 2009 for (John) Huston Journal].
  • 2002 - “The Ethics of Nazi Human Experimentation,” in J. Pawlikowski’s Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust.
  • 2001 - "Partisan Clergy in Rossellini’s Open City," in The Plume and the Palette.
  • “The Dice Are on the Carpet: The BBC and the French Resistance in World War II,” in Messages from the Underground, pp. 85-102.

Book Reviews

  • America, French Review, Revue André Malraux.

Guest Editor

  • Special Issue: Religion and the Arts, "Art and the Holocaust" (2000).
  • Special Issue: North Dakota Quarterly, "Malraux and Hemingway: Embattled Spain" (1992).

Guest Film Curator

  • Museum of Fine Arts (Boston): "Costa-Gavras: The Political Thriller and Beyond" (Programming and Catalogue, 1989).

Film Production (Producer/Director/or Scriptwriter)

  • 2014 - A Matter of Conscience: Confronting Clergy Abuse (with Susan A. Michalczyk)
  • 2013 - Who Takes Away the Sins: Witnesses to Clergy Abuse (with Susan A. Michalczyk)
  • 2011 - Kenya: Passing the Baton
  • 2009 - Writing on the Wall: Remembering the Berlin Wall
  • 2009 - Confronting Amnesia: Frozen Memories of the Russian Gulag
  • 2007 - Creating Harmony: The Displaced Persons Orchestra from St. Ottilien
  • 2005 - Rick’s Eyes on the Prize: Running  with Team Hoyt I, Claudia: In the Deaf Community of Nicaragua Andrea: A True Gem
  • 2004 - Killing Silence: Taking on the Mafia in Sicily
  • 2003 - Different Drummers: Daring to Make Peace in the MidEast
  • 2002 - Displaced: Miracle at St. Ottilien Michael’s Eagle Eyes Celtic Waves: The Flow of Irish Emigration
  • 2001 - South Africa: Beyond a Miracle
  • 2000 - Unexpected Openings: Northern Ireland Prisoners
  • 1999 - Prelude to Kosovo: War and Peace in Bosnia and Croatia (PBS)
  • 1998 - Out of the Ashes: Norther Ireland’s Fragile Peace (PBS)
  • 1997 - December’s Dilemma: The Creche, the Dreidel, and the Star (PBS) In the Shadow of the Reich: Nazi Medicine (PBS)
  • 1995 - Of Stars & Shamrocks: Boston’s Jews & Irish (PBS)
  • 1992 - The Cross and the Star: Jews, Christians, and the Holocaust   
  • 1988 - Fidelity Not Mutual (25 min.) (Screened at Athens, Ohio Film Festival)
  • 1986 - Fred Wiseman: Filming the American Institution (28 min.)

Film Script

Feature Script: Black Diamond (1989/1997)

Film Critic

Cannes Film Festival for French Review (1978, 1979, 1981)

Board of Directors

Documentaries International Film Foundation (D.C.)/Foundation for Moral Courage (1994-2002)


Directory of American Scholars; Contemporary Authors; Fulbright (Italy); Mellon (Costa-Gavras); "Palmes Académiques" (French Govt.); IREX (US Govt./Poland); TASH (The Assoc. for the Severely Handicapped) Distinguished Media Award for "Nazi Medicine" documentary; Emmy Nominations (3).