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Shoah

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Overview

The creators of the brilliant French documentary Shoah courageously assume that their audience is willing to sit through 570 minutes' worth of interviews and little else. As unpromising as this sounds, rest assured that you will sit and listen. Relentless "inquisitor" Claude Lanzmann probes the memories of several survivors of the Holocaust--as well as several ex-Nazis who helped perpetrate the horrors. Gradually, one becomes aware that what happened in Germany and occupied Europe in the years 1933 through 1945 ...
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Overview

The creators of the brilliant French documentary Shoah courageously assume that their audience is willing to sit through 570 minutes' worth of interviews and little else. As unpromising as this sounds, rest assured that you will sit and listen. Relentless "inquisitor" Claude Lanzmann probes the memories of several survivors of the Holocaust--as well as several ex-Nazis who helped perpetrate the horrors. Gradually, one becomes aware that what happened in Germany and occupied Europe in the years 1933 through 1945 was not as "unthinkable" as it may seem to modern viewers; the recollections of those directly involved demonstrate all too well that it can happen anywhere at any time. One review of Shoah has carped that "it really could have been a bit shorter." No, it couldn't.
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Special Features

Director's bio; Scene selections; Bilingual menus
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Claude Lanzmann's Shoah is a unique document in the world of cinema, and an improbable one. Even immediately after the end of the Second World War, when the world was sorting itself out from the conflict and curious about the nature of the evil of the defunct Third Reich, there were social and political forces at work that militated against the excessive exposure of too much film on the Holocaust. And in the decades that followed, especially in the United States, apart from sanitized, prettified dramatizations such as the American television mini-series Holocaust, there was little impetus to generate much coverage of the subject for movie audiences; apart from a lack of commerciality, producers and distributors were increasingly concerned with stirring up audiences who were concerned with contemporary Middle Eastern politics surrounding the State of Israel. Into the midst of that political world of the 1980s came Lanzmann and his 570 minute documentary, more than a dozen years in the making and too much of a heavy lift for his original backers. Even after their withdrawal, he continued onward with his interviews and editing, ultimately delivering one a startling body of work -- Shoah is vast in its proportions, just under 10 hours long, yet delved into its subject on such personal and intimate terms that once one gets past the sheer dimension of the total film, it is absorbing on levels that are totally unexpected -- but not surprising, as Lanzmann, with the ambitious length, was willing to go where few directors and no producer before him had been prepared to tread. In taking a microscope to the accounts of survivors (and some ex-Nazis and Hitler supporters, as well as participants who carried out orders of the Nazis in order to stay alive), and letting them tell it in their own language, at their own pace, and within whatever zone-of-comfort there is to be found in relating such an account, the filmmaker reveals a larger, even more elusive truth than the grisly details contained within the recollections -- in the act of assembling these stories and presenting them, one realizes that one of the key mechanisms behind the Final Solution of the Hitler government was that most of the activity toward extermination was seen from the ground, not the air. That is, that while it was clear to the victims and those around them what was happening, their relative isolation, and the incredulity of anyone (especially on the Allied side) that such actions could be carried out on a mass-scale made it possible to do precisely that. In one fell swoop, Lanzmann's efforts thus provide a response to the Holocaust deniers and others who have questioned the reality of what happened in the decades since. Additionally, the low-key presentation of the accounts allows one to absorb the nearly 10 hours of material than a more emotionally demanding approach would have permitted. Across its running time, the movie works on (at least) two levels, the out-sized and the intimate, the overlapping, contrasting approaches strengthening the overall structure of the piece and permitting this work to be palatable in ways that may completely surprise the skeptical. It's still harrowing at times, with some details shocking in their violence and horror, but Lanzmann has succeeded in creating a film that permits one to ponder the unthinkable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2003
  • UPC: 717119510343
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Yorker Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Language: English, Français, Deutsche, Italiano
  • Time: 9:26:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Claude Lanzmann Director
Bernard Aubouy Sound/Sound Designer
Dominique Chapuis Cinematographer
Jimmy Glasberg Cinematographer
William Lubtchansky Cinematographer
Ziva Postec Editor
Anna Ruiz Editor
Michel Vionnet Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- 1st Era, 1st Part
1. Simon Srebnik [1:05]
2. Chelmno Peasants [1:00]
3. Simon Srebnik [3:55]
4. Chelmno Peasants [2:09]
5. Michaël Podchlebnik [2:45]
6. Hanna Zaïdl [1:32]
7. Motke Zaïdl and Itzhak Dugin [1:01]
8. Jan Piwonski [3:47]
9. Michaël Podchlebnik [2:41]
10. Motke Zaïdl and Itzhak Dugin [6:09]
11. Richard Glazar [3:04]
12. Motke Zaïdl and Itzhak Dugin [:37]
13. Simon Srebnik [1:32]
14. Paula Biren [1:40]
15. Pana Pietyra [1:17]
16. Pan Filipowicz [3:32]
17. Pana Pietyra [1:38]
18. Pan Filipowicz [2:19]
19. Pan Falborski [2:23]
20. Shot of the Arrival of a Train at Treblinka. [2:02]
21. Abraham Bomba [2:22]
22. Czeslaw Borowi [3:45]
23. Treblinka Peasants [2:21]
24. Czeslaw Borowi [1:21]
25. Treblinka Railway Workers [1:07]
26. Treblinka Peasants [2:32]
27. Treblinka Railway Workers [:42]
28. Treblinka Peasants [1:01]
29. Czeslaw Borowi [1:35]
30. Abraham Bomba [1:25]
31. Henrik Gawkowski [2:20]
32. Abraham Bomba [1:03]
33. Henrik Gawkowski [:20]
34. Abraham Bomba [1:27]
35. Richard Glazar [2:59]
36. Treblinka Peasants [1:03]
37. Czeslaw Borowi [1:46]
38. Henrik Gawkowski [1:25]
39. Czeslaw Borowi [:48]
40. Henrik Gawkowski [3:45]
41. Jan Piwonski [5:59]
42. Rudolf Vrba [4:52]
43. Abraham Bomba [1:19]
44. Richard Glazar [2:06]
45. Abraham Bomba [3:09]
46. Rudolf Vrba [:30]
47. Richard Glazar [2:23]
48. Abraham Bomba [1:10]
49. Richard Glazar [2:27]
50. Abraham Bomba [2:26]
51. Richard Glazar [1:05]
52. Berlin [1:57]
53. Inge Deutschkron [3:50]
54. Franz Suchomel [14:48]
55. Filip Müller [12:21]
56. Franz Suchomel [:45]
Side #2 -- 1st Era, 2nd Part
1. Franz Suchomel [4:13]
2. Joseph Oberhauser [4:05]
3. M. Spiess [3:40]
4. Jan Piwonski [6:33]
5. Filip Müller [7:29]
6. Raul Hilberg [8:19]
7. Franz Schilling [10:47]
8. Michaël Podchlebnik [6:14]
9. Frau Michelsohn [5:17]
10. Grabow Synagogue [1:49]
11. Group of Women [1:51]
12. Couple in Grabow [4:01]
13. A Man [1:19]
14. The Couple [:51]
15. Another Man [1:17]
16. The First Man [:39]
17. A Group of Women [1:42]
18. The First Man [1:45]
19. A Woman [1:36]
20. The First Man [:34]
21. The Other Man [:19]
22. The Group of Women [:50]
23. The Couple [:55]
24. Frau Michelsohn [2:17]
25. Simon Srebnik [2:12]
26. A Group of Villagers Outside Chelmno Church Around Simon Srebnik [:22]
27. Pan Falborski [15:55]
28. Simon Srebnik [5:08]
29. Secret Reich Business [5:41]
Side #3 -- 2nd Era, 1st Part
1. Franz Suchomel [16:12]
2. Abraham Bomba [18:11]
3. Franz Suchomel [6:57]
4. Richard Glazar [3:36]
5. Rudolf Vrba [4:27]
6. Filip Müller [22:09]
7. Corfu [3:28]
8. Moshe Mordo [2:40]
9. Armando Aaron [9:34]
10. Walter Stier [11:24]
11. Raul Hilberg [13:21]
12. Filip Müller [3:55]
13. Franz Suchomel [2:48]
14. Richard Glazar [8:49]
15. Filip Müller [3:27]
16. Rudolf Vrba [8:29]
Side #4 -- 2nd Era, 2nd Part
1. Ruth Elias [4:32]
2. Rudolf Vrba [7:17]
3. Filip Müller [5:16]
4. Rudolf Vrba [9:29]
5. Filip Müller [6:43]
6. Rudolf Vrba [4:13]
7. Jan Karski [39:08]
8. Frank Grassler [3:27]
9. Raul Hilberg [6:17]
10. Frank Grassler [3:05]
11. Raul Hilberg [3:03]
12. Frank Grassler [4:57]
13. Raul Hilberg [6:37]
14. Frank Grassler [2:08]
15. Raul Hilberg [4:52]
16. Frank Grassler [4:39]
17. Gertrude Schneider and Her Mother [1:52]
18. The Ghetto Fighters Kibbutz Museum - Israël [2:18]
19. Itzhak Zuckermann, Alias "Antek" [1:15]
20. Simha Rottem [16:20]
21. Shot of a Train [1:01]
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Menu

Side #1 -- 1st Era, 1st Part
   Shoah: First Era, Part One
   Language Selection
      English
      French
   Introduction to the Film
   Chapter Selection
   Claude Lanzmann's Biography
      Biography
      Filmography
         Pourquoi Israël
         Shoah
         Tsahal
         Un Vivant Qui Passe
         Sobibor, 14 Octubre 1943, 16 Heures
Side #2 -- 1st Era, 2nd Part
   Shoah: First Era, Part Two
   Language Selection
      English
      French
   Chapter Selection
   Claude Lanzmann's Biography
      Biography
      Filmography
         Pourquoi Israël
         Shoah
         Tsahal
         Un Vivant Qui Passe
         Sobibor, 14 Octubre 1943, 16 Heures
Side #3 -- 2nd Era, 1st Part
   Shoah: Second Era, Part One
   Language Selection
      English
      French
   Chapter Selection
   Claude Lanzmann's Biography
      Biography
      Filmography
         Pourquoi Israël
         Shoah
         Tsahal
         Un Vivant Qui Passe
         Sobibor, 14 Octubre 1943, 16 Heures
Side #4 -- 2nd Era, 2nd Part
   Shoah: Second Era, Part Two
   Language Selection
      English
      French
   Chapter Selection
   Claude Lanzmann's Biography
      Biography
      Filmography
         Pourquoi Israël
         Shoah
         Tsahal
         Un Vivant Qui Passe
         Sobibor, 14 Octubre 1943, 16 Heures
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not The Expected

    This movie is not at all what you expect to see in a documentary about the holocaust. It makes you understand and question where personal responsibility and moral responsibility for other people begins and to what lengths it should extend. It made me rethink what I considered I ''owed'' morally to other people and to myself. I think everyone should see this. The only negative about this movie is that the snow sometimes makes it impossible to see the subtitles...

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Truely the greatest rendition of the Holocaust. A must for all i

    Truely the greatest rendition of the Holocaust. A must for all in the free world to see. Worth every minute and every penny spent on this documentary.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2013

    Epic and moving.  Everyone should watch this. I am glad to see i

    Epic and moving.  Everyone should watch this. I am glad to see it in release again.  Thank you to Criterion for preserving it and bringing it to more audiences.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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