We find it infuriating that Tibor Machan [Letters, April 18] is so entirely misinformed about the politics and beliefs of film director Jules Dassin, subject of a current retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Mr. Machan states that Mr. Dassin has been a supporter of the Soviet Union for much of his life. Like many others of his generation who grew up during the worst years of the Depression, Mr. Dassin was an idealist who longed for a more just society with employment, universal healthcare, education, housing and full civil rights for all of its citizens -- and only the Communist Party offered that platform. But once the horrors of Stalin's regime were made known, Dassin soundly rejected it.
Mr. Dassin has been a lifelong champion of human rights. In the late '60s and early '70s, he and his wife, Melina Mercouri, became the international symbols of resistance against the neo-Nazi Greek junta.
Stalin was a monster to him, as was/is any other totalitarian despot. In these uncertain times, Mr. Dassin's blacklisting should serve as a cautionary tale. We need more people today with his kind of humanity and idealism.