Shoah is a 1985 documentary film about the Holocaust, directed by Claude Lanzmann. Over nine hours long and 11 years in the making, the film presents Lanzmann’s interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to German Holocaust sites across Poland, including extermination camps.
Shoah – Part 1
Hailed as a masterpiece by many critics, Shoah was described in the New York Times as “an epic film about the greatest evil of modern times.”
Shoah – Part 2
“For more than nine hours I sat and watched a film named “Shoah,” and when it was over, I sat for a while longer and simply stared into space, trying to understand my emotions. I had seen a memory of the most debased chapter in human history. But I had also seen a film that affirmed life so passionately that I did not know where to turn with my confused feelings. There is no proper response to this film. It is an enormous fact, a 550-minute howl of pain and anger in the face of genocide. It is one of the noblest films ever made.” – Roger Ebert
Shoah – Part 3
Claude Lanzmann’s epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses – perpetrators as well as survivors.Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage.
Shoah – Part 4
Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories — survivors, bystanders and perpetrators — Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka.
The film’s title is a Hebrew word for chaos or annihilation – for the Holocaust. The film is a documentary, but it does not contain images from the 1940s. There are no old newsreel shots, no interviews with the survivors of the death camps, no coverage of the war crimes trials. All of the movie was photographed in the last five or six years by a man named Claude Lanzmann, who went looking for eyewitnesses to Hitler’s “Final Solution.” He is surprisingly successful in finding people who were there, who saw and heard what went on. Some of them, a tiny handful, are Jewish survivors of the camps. The rest are mostly old people, German and Polish, some who worked in the camps, others who were in a position to observe what happened.