This is a phenomenal record of history. The quiet establishing shots are at once haunting and beautiful. The subjects' stories are profoundly moving, but somehow not overwhelming -- they often speak coldly, decades of practice suppressing their emotions, many of them having suffered unimaginable guilt for their relatively good fortune. "Shoah" is a film to be seen. Do it.
Finished this a while ago. It is quite harrowing to relive the experience through the people who were there, and who survived, as well as who were part of the perpetrators. Another thing that made me curious throughout, was the relationship of the Poles and the Jews..
"Shoah" en general es un gran documental por esa gran iniciativa. Recolectar de manera testimonial la historia, es decir, no solo a través de historiadores, sino de sus actores, tanto de un bando como del otro. Inolvidable son el testimonio de un barbero, un himno Checo rezonando en una cámara de gas y el diario de un futuro suicida. Ahora, un punto en contra y molesto, Lanzmann no es un buen entrevistador.
O horror. O Holocausto. A sua largueza impregna um ritmo doloroso de falas, sem o uso de imagens de arquivo. São as pessoas que falam e constroem as imagens que criamos mentalmente, em um processo rítmico que protege o espaço da palavra. Não é senão através da palavra e do gesto que Lanzmann estabelece um lugar para as coisas: Para a memória, para a liberdade do espectador, para tudo o que nos afeta | Pedro H.Gomes
Very important milestone on getting hold of history as long as te witnesses still speak. Lanzmann provides his viewer with many perspectives: not only those of the victims but also the offenders'. His unjudging and curious ways make the told even more unbearable.
Why didn't Lanzmann just have his interpreters interview the subjects, or add subtitles in post? The film really drags during those scenes of "translation triangles"; not to mention that the testimonies lose some power when they're interrupted so often. Still, an important film worth seeing at least once. The shots of the railroad tracks leading up to the camps are the most memorable images, for me.
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.