When I was a boy, maybe 9 or 10, somebody discovered the books documenting the Death Camps at the town public library. These books were all black and white, large format and 6" thick. The short reels we had seen, but these books were just page after page of vivid, horrifying documentation. In "Shoah" we see the faces of those who witnessed and survived those times. The film shows us none of us are spared.
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...
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.
I think this should be watched. I found it difficult to comprehend. Its just almost unreal, but because it is very real i felt at times sadness and anger. There is one scene where a man is pushed to tell a story of his expierence in a camp, he is a barber and cuts the hair of a survivor while telling his story. This was a powerful scene as are many. The strenght and emotion in some people is profound.
For me it is a question how we can people make to watch this film, who refuse to learn and to know about that part of the history? Invaluable contribution to the record of the history! Incredible work of a such small team/crew!! p.s.only technical problem is in the middle 2-3 hours the sound goes a sec or less ahead of an image - disturbing when we see interview shots.
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.
It's truistic, but so many voices go unheard in conventional histories. Talking head documentaries are commonplace, yet this film contains testimonies that have reshaped my comprehension of the Holocaust, because they focus on it as an everyday activity for those involved (its most incomprehensible element). In particular, the context provided by interviews with German and Polish locals is genuinely revelatory.
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..