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 ... See full summary »
Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.
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.Written by
Gene Volovich <email@example.com>
Documentary maker Marcel Ophüls called it "the greatest documentary about contemporary history ever made". See more »
Srebnik and Podchlebnik were not the only Jewish survivors of the Chelmno Extermination Camp. Today we know at least 9 by name, but not all survived WWII and/or gave testimonies. Lanzmann probably didn't know then. See more »
You don't remember those days?
Not much. I recall more clearly my pre-war mountaineering trips than the entire war period and those days in Warsaw. All, in all, those were bad times. It's a fact we tend to forget, thank God, the bad times more easily than the good. The bad times are repressed.
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This eight-hour documentary is NOT what you might think. It contains not one frame of archival footage of Nazi atrocities. Instead, it is dozens of modern (early '80s) interviews with surviving death camp inmates, guards, a commandant and people living near the camps. In several cases, Lanzman takes surviving inmates back to the razed sites of the camps, where they recount the horrific indignities visited upon them. The most hair-raising interview is about six hours in, with a Jewish barber who, in the space of 5 minutes, shaved the heads of his wife, his best friend and his best friend's wife just prior to their being gassed. With tears welling up, he describes shaving their heads in silence and without acknowledgement, so he might continue living and offer testimony to their hellish demise.
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