Free YouTube video & music downloader
Shoah (1985)

Shoah (1985)

Simon SrebnikMichael PodchlebnikMotke ZaïdlHanna Zaïdl
Claude Lanzmann


Shoah (1985) is a German,Hebrew,Polish,Yiddish,French,English,Greek,Italian movie. Claude Lanzmann has directed this movie. Simon Srebnik,Michael Podchlebnik,Motke Zaïdl,Hanna Zaïdl are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1985. Shoah (1985) is considered one of the best Documentary,History,War movie in India and around the world.

Claude Lanzmann directed this 9 1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust without using a single frame of archive footage. He interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (whom he had to film secretly since they only agreed to be interviewed by audio). His style of interviewing by asking for the most minute details is effective at adding up these details to give a horrifying portrait of the events of Nazi genocide. He also shows, or rather lets some of his subjects themselves show, that the anti-Semitism that caused 6 million Jews to die in the Holocaust is still alive and well in many people who still live in Germany, Poland, and elsewhere.


Shoah (1985) Reviews

  • The monopoly on the Holocaust


    I haven't much to say that hasn't already been said about Shoah. It is certainly a powerful film, and as far as I'm concerned, its experiment succeeds. Its very ontology begs the question of the power of the "kino-eye." If we are to compare it to, say, Schindler's List or, better, since it is non-fiction, Resnais' Nuit et Brouillard, we ask, can the film be as powerful when none of the "real" footage is used? Shoah might succeed merely because of its length, but one could perfectly well argue that it fails. There is nothing wrong with finding this film excruciatingly boring, particularly if one does not consider the experiment a success. For this reason, I disagree with the review of the film that says people should not post if they didn't like the film. One does not, for one thing, "know what they are getting into" necessarily, because the film is experimental in nature. Also, the claim that the film is too long is partly justified by the fact that it is a commercial film, i.e., distributed for viewing. If one does not like it, this is no doubt partially the fault of Lanzmann and the way the Holocaust is presented as something "you must feel bad about." Any sense of dislike or distaste does not make a viewer insensitive or cruelly apathetic in any way. It is also possible to be turned off by Lanzmann himself. I've always found that an "objective" documentary is nearly an oxymoron, but Lanzmann, if this is what he is trying, fails miserably at objectivity. When he interviews the guards of the camps, he is aggressive and often interrupts what they are saying. There are two (or three, I can't remember) who ask that their names and faces do not be revealed. Lanzmann does both, the latter by sneaking in a secret camera. The guilt of these guards speaks for itself, but Lanzmann seems to be more interested in telling them what to feel, and recounting to them their own stories rather than merely letting them speak. And the hidden camera thing seems to me little more than an immature fetish. More generally, I feel somewhat uneasy about the fact that Lanzmann has made his entire career by marketing the Holocaust. Each of his films recounts it in some way or another, and treating the tragedy as a commodity has some consequences which do not put the director in a positive light. Also, he seems to ignore the fact that less than half of those killed in the Holocaust were Jews. The film's title, Hebrew for "annihilation" or "holocaust," obviously implies that it is the story of the Jewish plight. Still, if it is an attempt at absolute realism on Lanzmann's part, it is, in a sense, somewhat reductive to refer to it this way. This, naturally, is a more general criticism about teaching the Holocaust, but I think it an apt criticism of Lanzmann, who I suppose we could call the "part owner" of the Holocaust market.

  • Good, but should have been different


    I have always been interested in the Holocaust since i first learned about it in school, but its in the last couple of years i have been studying it to the point that i actually could consider myself an amateur holocaust scholar ( alt-ho that term somehow seems a bit non PC in this context ), so when i came across a 9+ hour documentary i was very intrigued as i find it problematic to find raw unedited books or films about the topic. The film offers a huge collection of first hand testimony of the atrocities that occurred during Nazi rule from both victims ,offenders and general witnesses. The interviews with the survivors is both gripping and chilling and gives you a better feel of the actual fear they must have felt in contrast to what certain other movies have been able to as they talk in detail about the actual specific things that took place. In this part of the film he ( Lanzmann ) does a great job, and thats because he lets them talk for themselves.... as for the offenders and gen.witnesses he fails and this is why; First off he seems to blend the two, that is he seems to be under the impression that as long as you where there and didn't do everything to stop it then you are an offender in the genocide, the most apparent and appalling examples of this is when he interviews some poor polish peasants from "hillbilly"-land , have them look into the camera and ask them ( and I'm paraphrasing ) " was the Jews that lived here rich ? " thus getting them to say a common antisemitic phrase "the Jews around here were rich" and then lets them stare into the camera unable to detect what just happened. This is also apparent when he asks them questions about what they witnessed ( usually someone living nearby the Reinhard camps ) and when they answer he has this way of responding with a subtle sarcastic manner that implies they didn't care what happened, even tho most of them actually did try to warn the people in the incoming trains and the like. About the offenders ( i think he talks to 2 or 3 ) i agree that i don't find much sympathy for them but Claude should just let them speak and not interrupt them and try to get them to break down as that has no relativity to the purpose of the film IMO. He constantly tells the ex Treblinka guard that he doesn't believe him, really ? , the guy sits there and willingly speaks of seeing Human feces in rows outside the gas chambers but he is somehow lying about other details ? that doesn't make any sense. I will say tho that when he talks to the guy who was one of the people in charge of the Warsaw ghetto that claims he didn't know anything, his disbelief is justified. My last problem with this film is that it not only doesn't mention the non-Jewish victims it seems to purposely avoid the subject. One particular scene comes to mind when a Pole tells a heart gripping story about a mom getting shot with her kid ( i cant remember detail ) outside the train and Lanzmann asks quickly, even interrupting, " was she Jewish ?". Does that matter ? She was a victim of the holocaust and she got shot with her kid but shes not worth remembering because she was a non-Jew ? I might seem very disappointed in this film but its actually not that bad. I just think Claude should have left himself out of the camera and let the people involved speak for them-self to the extent that it is possible. Great collection of very important history but , but with some serious issues

  • May We Never Forget...


    I finally saw Shoah yesterday at the Ontario Cinematheque. I sat through the entire 9 and a half hours in one sitting. Shoah surprised me in several ways. The first was how the interviews were conducted. Lanzmann is a very direct and aggressive interviewer and initially, I was very put off by how he delved into his subjects. He seemed almost wreckless and completely devoid of empathy as he continued to ask the most personal and private questions, never hesitating to force his subjects to think back to what was not only the darkest moment of their lives, but the darkest moments of modern Western history. Eventually, what happens however, is astonishing. Most interviewees eventually give up their resistance, and very carefully relate their stories. Lanzmann forces them to consider details. How many bodies per furnace? How wide was the ditch? How far was the train ramp from the camp's bunkers? These details facilitate memory and soon, the subjects open up in the most remarkable way. No matter how you feel, or what you think you know about the Holocaust, this film puts faces to the tragedy in a way few conventional documentaries could. The emphasis here is on memory and oral history. As one Holocaust victim says early in the film, "It might be good for you to talk about these things. But for me, no." Eventually however, he realizes he must bear witness. There's one remarkable scene where Lanzmann confronts German settlers in Poland about the previous owner of their home, who were Jewish and sent to Auschwitz after their properties were confiscated. People who don't find this film 'entertaining' or perhaps 'boring' probably feel that way because, outside of the immediate experiences of the subjects being interviewed, there is no wider context to present the events. A worthwhile companion to this film would be the BBC's Auschwitz: Inside The Nazi State which runs 4 and a half hours, but will help you understand Shoah better. The other thing I found fascinating about this film was how the translations actually helped you absorb what is being said in a way direct subtitling wouldn't. For instance, most of the subjects speak German or Polish. Lanzmann speaks French mainly and some German. His translator translates what's being said into French and then the subtitles translate the French into English. By being able to look into the eyes of the people speaking, in their own native language, and then read the subtitles, was a very subtle, but very effective tool that deadens the 'shock value' of what is being spoken and gives the viewer more time to absorb the content. Some people have complained also that the film also has many long takes, which are seemingly of nothing. For instance, Lanzmann lets his camera linger on the remnants of Chelmno, which was razed after the war. Although it just looks like a five minute shot of a field, what struck me was how different this bucolic field must have been in 1942. Making this connection justifies every frame shot. Lanzmann, however, will not force this down your throat. You must be patient. This is an astonishing film that must be seen by everyone, at least once. Please review the general historical context of the Holocaust before you see it, to get the most out of it, but otherwise, this is living testament of the most vital kind. Brilliant, essential film-making.

  • A Record of Pain


    One reason why I'm drawn into cinema is that at its best it brings together all of art, transcends the boundaries, and without which I would be somehow clueless, somewhat not completely myself. Almost always I describe these films as important, subjectively speaking, and most of the time the mark they imprint upon me is a thirst for more, all this in the most positive sense one may imagine. And then there's "Shoah" (1985). It's unbearably long, gruesomely shocking and depressing, and with certainty a film I don't wish to see again and see as a kind of anti-film. Yet that's precisely why it's remarkable, and why it is important. It's transcendental in a way that I've rarely witnessed: it disregards time and its own format, and simply exists. It doesn't care that it stops and meditates. To "linger" is a wrong choice of words, since it means staying in one place "longer than necessary, typically because of a reluctance to leave". The point is not to linger, but to endure. The point of the film is to exist as it is, as a witness. Thus one of its weaknesses, if one uses such comparative and charged term, becomes its essential characteristic: the film is all about not being a film, it's not about finding a quick way around a point to another. It's a record of pain, and it's not meant to be an easy-going experience. "Shoah", then, is like a film that refuses to be a film. It was Ebert who called it "an act of witness". I agree. It is a witness to people reminiscing about something so horrible of which it's quite impossible to reminisce at all. But they do it, and their pain has been transferred to Lanzmann's poem. This poem doesn't try to make the incomprehensible comprehensible, but rather make that, which is incomprehensible to them, the survivors, equally incomprehensible to us. As such, "Shoah" is a monument, a collection of recollections that wrenches at the heart. I suppose my reaction was the most natural there is after being exposed to what the Holocaust was: emptiness that is like a fleeing dream trying to catch its tail, unsuccessfully groping at the ever-distant memory. The feeling is that there was no way out, and there still isn't. That we can learn from the horrors of the past, but really don't. And at what cost? The survivors' testimonies, of their own survival and of the lives of those who didn't, is, in the end, the story that deserves to be told, again and again. I saw "For All Mankind" (1989) shortly after this. I'd say these two films form a very perceptive cross-section of what we humans are like. The awe I felt during "Mankind" only intensified the opposite kind of awe, of dread, I felt during "Shoah": can this be the same humankind that is capable of both kinds of deeds, and almost contemporarily? No matter how far into space we launch ourselves, we carry within us both the darkness and the light, the hopelessness and hope. In the words of W. B. Yeats, "things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

  • Be prepared for a long haul


    It's nine and a half hours of travelogue footage and interviews with terribly ordinary middle-aged and senior citizens about events that happened a half-century ago. Except that the sites visited are the scenes of the systematic mass murder of roughly 11 million men, women and children, including some 6 million Jews, and the ordinary grandparents are the survivors and perpetrators of some of the most horrendous atrocities that mankind has committed upon each other. It is a terribly draining movie, hypnotic and disorienting, both in it's length and in the blandness, the matter-of-fact descriptions of things that would make a normal person scream in horror. And that is what is so amazingly important and meaningful about this film; that these were ordinary, average people. These were, and are, normal folks like you and me, and anybody, regardless of background, moral upbringing, and standards of decency can be caught up in circumstances beyond their power or experience, and can do the most depraved or heroic things imaginable. It is shocking, insightful, and a very,very important film that forces us to confront our own humanity and decide what that, in fact means. But it's nine and a half hours long. Be prepared to be drained and leave with your head buzzing.


Hot Search