In brief: Based on the 2008 novel by Phillip Roth, Indignation takes place in 1951 during the Korean War. The story follows Marcus Messner, the idealistic son of a humble kosher butcher from Newark, N.J who leaves for Ohio to study at a small, conservative college to avoid enlisting in the Korean War, where he finds himself at odds with the administration, grapples with anti-Semitism and sexual repression and pines after a troubled girl, ultimately ending up falling victim to his over-protective parents’ worst fears.
Indignation captures with an uncanny realism a moment of innocence and caution in a post-World War II era, when an oppressive, puritanical conformism dominated white America. It evokes the drabness of a time when living standards were much lower than today; anti-Semitism was pervasive; and the fear of Communism was epidemic. The early murmurings of rock ’n’ roll were distant stirrings on black R&B radio, and racial segregation held sway. The tone of everyday life was circumspect and grimly proper. Ramblings: ... and it really did not need to have a movie made about it. No characters you cared about.