A place: Theresienstadt. A unique place of propaganda which Adolf Eichmann called the “model ghetto”, designed to mislead the world and Jewish people regarding its real nature, to be the last step before the gas chamber…
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
Last "king" of the ghettoized Jews, Murmelstein also wants us to see him as a cunning Sancho Panza, thoughtfully calibrating at the apparent service of power gone mad. He wants us to see it lots of different ways. There is almost total abstraction of the actual. It ends w/ him ranting about himself in third person. This is one of the most fascinating documentaries I have ever seen, as open-ended as a life.
History is written by the victors and by those who survived it...the truth can be a little more dodgy. Lanzmann revisits the 1975 interview he did with Benjamin Murmelstein as he feels he needs to share this footage in what results as more then just a footnote to the masterpiece 'Shoah'. Lengthy, rewarding film that cuts in and out of the '75 talk with new footage in key locales reading the testament that remains.
Claude Lanzmanns Shoah Projekt umfasst mittlerweile 200 Stunden Filmmaterial - ein Lebenswerk! Seit den 70ern trägt er Dokumente über das grösste Verbrechen der Menschheit, Ausschwitz, zusammen... die ganze Rezension sowie unsere Film List der grössten klassischen Dokus gibts auf cinegeek.de
The interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein are fascinating. The readings by Claude Lanzmann, shot in pertinent locations, less so. The cinematography stumbles (metaphorically) in attempting to replicate the long advancing and retreating tracking shots that dominated the look of SHOAH, but with handheld cameras. It's just not the same. Good history here, but room for improvement as a movie.