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..
I can't wait for the sequel: Lanzmann's eleven hour biographical portrait of Simon Wiesenthal, where the audience is let in on the poor, oppressed man's daily routine, including everything from kicking over gravestone to being dominated by German prostitutes.
"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.