Shoah

Shoah

DVD

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Overview

Shoah is an astonishing film on a number of levels, starting with its own existence -- a documentary on a subject so horrendous, and horrific, that few potential filmgoers really want to think much about it, or the events related within. But Jewish-French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann took the plunge, head-first into his subject, in the hope that the audience would follow for 570 minutes. And as it turned out, Lanzmann's extreme approach to filmmaking was precisely the correct one to take in dealing with his subject, the Nazi extermination of Europe's Jews from 1938 through 1945. At first, in its opening minutes, the documentary seems to be shaping up as a relentless parade of interviews, all done in the subjects' original languages and translated as audio live in front of the camera, as well as on-screen. But Shoah is a lot more than a succession of talk in multiple languages. Rather, Lanzmann did what one only wishes the Stuart Schulberg documentary Nuremberg (1947) could have done -- he brings us and many of his subjects (including some low-level perpetrators) to the sites of the crimes in question, so that we perceive the dimensions and settings when they tell of the vile acts of murder and desecration they were obliged to commit, or which were committed upon them or those around them (including family members -- in a quietly horrific moment, one survivor, recalls being forced to carry out the orders to hide a graveyard, and tells of finding the bodies of his own family in one layer of corpses). What's more, the calm of the talk, and the detachment brought about by the need for translation, has the eerie effect of making the nature of the film -- which is definitely not short of striking visuals in support of the interviews -- much more enveloping than one could possibly imagine it could ever be. Indeed, by taking a broad approach over a huge canvas, but keeping the moment-to-moment emotional intensity in check, Lanzmann ends up making the unthinkable into a manageable subject for purposes of his film, and delivers a movie that accomplishes the seemingly impossible. And in the process, gradually, one begins to comprehend the unthinkable in dimensions that those present, victims and participants alike -- based on the evidence of the survivors before us -- must have accepted at the time, which goes some way to explaining the seemingly unanswerable, of how the catastophic events at the film's center could have occurred. The sad answer, as one realizes about an eighth of the way through the movie, is that it happened in stages, and little steps taken in isolation, the latter being the key element -- most of the participants (though certainly not the planners or the major overseers) never realized precisely the dimensions of the horror in which they were complicit, or to which they were witness. Lanzmann's movie ends up presenting a revelatory account of the "how" behind the greatest international social horror of the twentieth century -- the why is better left to historians, social philosophers, and theologians.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/25/2013
UPC: 0715515105316
Original Release: 1985
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Time: 9:26:00
Sales rank: 19,549

Special Features

New, restored 4K digital transfer; Three additional films by director Claude Lanzmann: A Visitor from the Living (1999, 68 minutes); Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 P.M. (2001, 102 minutes); and The Karski Report (2010, 49 minutes); New conversation between Lanzmann and critic Serge Toubiana; Interview with Lanzmann from 2003 about A Visitor from the Living and Sobibór; New interview with Caroline Champetier, assistant camera person on Shoah, and filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin; Trailer; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones and writings by Lanzmann

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Shoah - First Era, Part One
1. Acknowledgements and Introduction [4:52]
2. Simon Srebnik [1:22]
3. Chelmo Villagers and Simon Srebnik [:48]
4. Simon Srebnik [4:05]
5. Simon Srebnik and Chelmno Villagers [2:15]
6. Michaël Podchlebnik [2:52]
7. Hanna Zaïdl [1:36]
8. Motke Zaïdl and Itzhak Dugin [1:04]
9. Jan Piwonski [3:57]
10. Michaël Podchlebnik [1:08]
11. Motke Zaïdl and Itzhak Dugin [8:05]
12. Richard Glazar [3:11]
13. Motke Zaïdl [:40]
14. Simon Srebnik [1:02]
15. Paula Biren [2:19]
16. Pana Pietyra [1:20]
17. Pan Filipowicz [3:41]
18. Pana Pietyra [1:42]
19. Pan Filipowicz [2:25]
20. Pan Falborski [2:29]
21. Henrik Gawkowski [2:07]
22. Abraham Bomba [2:29]
23. Czeslaw Borowi [3:55]
24. Treblinka Villagers [2:24]
25. Czeslaw Borowi [1:27]
26. Treblinka Railway Workers [1:10]
27. Treblinka Villagers [2:39]
28. Treblinka Railway Workers [:43]
29. Treblinka Villagers [1:00]
30. Czeslaw Borowi [1:43]
31. Abraham Bomba [1:28]
32. Henrik Gawkowski [2:26]
33. Abraham Bomba [1:05]
34. Henrik Gawkowski [:21]
35. Abraham Bomba [1:31]
36. Richard Glazar [3:06]
37. Treblinka Villagers [1:07]
38. Czeslaw Borowi [1:50]
39. Henrik Gawkowski [1:28]
40. Czeslaw Borowi [:50]
41. Henrik Gawkowski [3:55]
42. Jan Piwonski [6:14]
43. Rudolf Vrba [5:05]
44. Abraham Bomba [1:22]
45. Richard Glazar [2:11]
46. Abraham Bomba [3:17]
47. Rudolf Vrba [:32]
48. Richard Glazar [2:29]
49. Abraham Bomba [1:13]
50. Richard Glazar [2:33]
51. Abraham Bomba [2:33]
52. Richard Glazar [1:08]
53. Berlin Dancing Couple [1:35]
54. Inge Deutschkron [4:20]
55. Franz Suchomel [15:26]
56. Filip Müller [12:52]
57. Franz Suchomel [:49]
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #2 -- Shoah - First Era, Part Two
1. Franz Suchomel [4:24]
2. Joseph Oberhauser [4:16]
3. Alfred Spiess [3:50]
4. Jan Piwonski [6:50]
5. Filip Müller [7:48]
6. Raul Hilberg [8:41]
7. Franz Schalling [11:15]
8. Michaël Podchlebnik [6:30]
9. Martha Michelsohn [5:30]
10. Jacob Schulmann [1:53]
11. Group of Grabów Women [1:56]
12. Grabów Couple [4:11]
13. Grabów Man [1:22]
14. Grabów Couple [:53]
15. Second Grabów Man [1:20]
16. Grabów Man [:41]
17. Group of Grabów Women [1:47]
18. Grabów Man [1:50]
19. Grabów Woman [1:40]
20. Grabów Man [:36]
21. Second Grabów Man [:20]
22. Group of Grabów Women [:53]
23. Grabów Couple [:57]
24. Martha Michelsohn and Simon Srebnik [4:41]
25. Simon Srebnik [:23]
26. Villagers and Chelmno Church and Simon Srebnik [16:35]
27. Pan Falborski [3:36]
28. Simon Srebnik [7:40]
29. Willy Just [8:00]
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #3 -- Shoah - Second Era, Part One
1. Franz Suchomel [17:16]
2. Abraham Bomba [18:57]
3. Franz Suchomel [7:15]
4. Richard Glazar [3:45]
5. Rudolf Vrba [4:38]
6. Filip Müller [23:06]
7. Corfu Jews [3:36]
8. Moshe Mordo and Corfu Man [2:46]
9. Armando Aaron [10:00]
10. Walter Steir [11:53]
11. Raul Hilberg [13:56]
12. Filip Müller [4:05]
13. Franz Suchomel [2:55]
14. Richard Glazar [9:11]
15. Filip Müller [3:32]
16. Rudolf Vrba [8:57]
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #4 -- Shoah - Second Era, Part Two
1. Ruth Elias
2. Rudolf Vrba
3. Filip Müller
4. Rudolf Vrba
5. Filip Müller
6. Rudolf Vrba
7. Jan Karski
8. Franz Grassler
9. Raul Hilberg
10. Franz Glassler
11. Raul Hilberg
12. Franz Grassler
13. Raul Bilberg
14. Franz Grassler
15. Raul Hilberg
16. Franz Grassler
17. Gertrude Schneider and Her Mother
18. Ghetto Fighters' House Musuem, Israel
19. Itzhak Zuckermann, Alias "Antek"
20. Simha Rottem, Alias "Kajik"
21. A Train
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #5 -- Shoah - Supplements
1. Genesis [3:27]
2. Discovering the Subject [9:58]
3. Creating Archives [12:08]
4. Funding [3:29]
5. Filming Enemies [11:53]
6. Suspended Time [3:54]
7. Editing [15:29]
1. Chapter 1 [32:46]
2. Chapter 2 [:19]
1. Prologue [5:15]
2. The Mission [5:18]
3. Briefing the Polish Ambassador [5:27]
4. One Hour and Twenty Minutes with Roosevelt [8:58]
5. The Report on Meeting the President [4:39]
6. Justice Frankfurter: "I Do Not Believe You" [10:31]
7. Understanding History [8:29]
Disc #6 -- Shoah - Supplements
1. Prologue [5:59]
2. A Red Cross Delegate [3:13]
3. Wartime Berlin [6:15]
4. Auschwitz: "Only Their Eyes Were Alive" [18:26]
5. The "Model" Ghetto [10:21]
6. The Report: A "Normal Small Town" [21:01]
7. Dr. Epstein's Speech [2:40]
1. Prologue [7:15]
2. July 22, 1942: Umschlagplatz [5:30]
3. Eight Camps in Six Months [11:16]
4. Minsk [5:54]
5. September 1943 [5:36]
6. Arrival at Sobibór [10:31]
7. The Plan [19:02]
8. October 14, 1943, 4 P.M. [12:12]
9. 4:05 P.M. [9:11]
10. 5 P.M. [5:54]
11. List of Sobibór Transports [9:37]

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Shoah 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Ricola More than 1 year ago
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.