Claude Lanzmann directed this 9 1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust without using a single frame of archive footage. He interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (whom he had to film secretly since they only agreed to be interviewed by audio).
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Essential cinema. Lanzmann's landmark documentary is an awe-inducing endeavour that at even 9 1/2 hours seems like its only beginning to shed light on the holocaust. By keeping to the interviewee and not using any archival material the focus is absolute whether he's talking to prisoner, former Nazi, collaborator or witness. The denials and shirking of responsibility or knowledge is absolutely chilling. ctnd...
Una experiencia sobrecogedora, y una buena muestra de que la nalga francesa es mucho mas resistente que la nacional. Dedicarle csi diez horas seguidas a ver esto, es capaz de borrarle la raya a quien sea...
While I agree with Camille that everyone should watch this film, I strongly disagree that the cinematography wasn't great. While not very lavish or glamorous, I found myself comparing Lanzmann's contemplative use of landscape to Tarkovsky's meditative cinema. If you have an open mind for it, Shoah reveals itself as a visual masterpiece.
I really liked the way it was filmed, the scenes and the gloomy atmosphere , however It was a bit dissapointing that they only mentioned Jews. I was expecting this to go a bit further and also mention other people who weren't Jews and died there. Such like gypsies, disabled people, spanish republicans (from the civil war) homesexuals, comunists, intellectuals,.... Anyway I will do remember them as well.
A genuine endurance test, not so much for the film's formidable length but for its eyewitness accounts and incredibly sad images. The wide canvas allows for many voices, including those witnesses who no one tends to consider - the train driver whose job was to transport Jews to Treblinka, residents of Chelmo who could see what was happening and were unable to intervene. An essential viewing.
A powerful film and a testament to how a simple interview can still be so effective. My only issue with the film is the constant relating of the extermination of the Jews in Europe to the physical land of Israel/Palestine. What would have made this film even more true is if the interviewees in Israel were asked how they relate to the extermination of Palestinians in the lands they were now living in.