Presented in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Goethe-Institut New York presents a screening of Claude Lanzmann
’s 1985 masterpiece Shoah
, in a rare public screening of the restored 9.5-hour film in its entirety.
is the most comprehensive and radical film about the extermination of European Jews by the Nazis: 12 years of production and research, 350 hours of material, 566 minutes of film against forgetting. 30 years after the end of WWII, the French filmmaker visited the places of extermination, the “death factories” of Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz, and found that grass had grown over them. Hence the persistence with which he sought out the last eyewitnesses to the catastrophe – rare survivors of the Sonderkommandos, bystanders, and Nazi perpetrators, too – in Poland, Israel, the United States, and Germany to question them about deportation and everyday life in the camps. This epic large-scale project does without a score, without any form of commentary or historical footage. It’s focus is not on a documentation of the past, but on the presence of memory.
“After the war, we read countless reports about the ghettos and the extermination camps; we were shocked. But seeing Claude Lanzmann’s extraordinary film today, we realize that we didn’t know anything.” Simone de Beauvoir
“The film gives us a model of understanding not as an accomplishment but as an ongoing practice, throughout a lifetime.” Kent Jones, New York Film Festival director
The International Literature Festival Berlin has called individuals, schools, universities, media outlets, and cultural organizations to join a worldwide screening
in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Seven Goethe-Instituts in cities across North America – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC – are participating.
France, 1985, 566 minutes
Dir. Claude Lanzmann