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Shoah (4pc) (Sub)
Actor: William Lubtchansky
Director: Claude Lanzmann
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2003     8hr 23min

To write a review of a film such as Shoah seems an impossible task: how to sum up one of the most powerful discourses on film in such a way as to make people realize that this is a documentary of immense consequence, a doc...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: William Lubtchansky
Director: Claude Lanzmann
Creators: Dominique Chapuis, Anna Ruiz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, History, Military & War, Military & War
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/07/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 8hr 23min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 22
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, German, Hebrew, Polish, Yiddish
Subtitles: English, French, Italian

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Movie Reviews

Powerful, devastating testimony
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw Shoah on PBS around the mid-80's and have never forgotten the experience. The documentary was shown in weekly installments. At first, I was just curious, but then I was drawn by the powerful testimony I was witnessing. I remember that while watching the last installments, I was weeping over the depravity and evil that was discussed by the aged survivors. At that time I was a Staff Sergeant with 15 years military service. We are tempted to turn away from the horrendous images and ignore the Holocaust as an anomaly or as something best left in the past. We want to move on. But listening to the stories and watching the faces of the survivors I knew that I must listen very carefully. I must not miss one moment of their testimony. Neither can you. Listen, watch, and learn what evil men can do to fellow man. It's a long, long film but it must be seen in its entirety."
Immensely powerful! Required viewing on the Holocaust.
M. D Roberts | Gwent, United Kingdom | 11/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Immensely powerful, disturbing, accurate and heart-rending. The most absorbing production relating to the Holocaust that I have seen.Here the horrors of the Holocaust are presented by real people in real time. Holocaust survivors, their captors, torturers & executioners are all interviewed on camera. Any detachment that the reader might have felt in reading books on the subject is destroyed as everything comes to life before your eyes. To actually see apparently 'ordinary' human beings who were responsible for such atrocities, speak about these events with such 'matter of fact', carefree abandon makes one's blood run cold.This footage is all the more real to me, having personally visited most of the concentration camps referred to and having seen at first hand what is being referred to. Nevertheless, this footage will shock even the most hardened viewer & educate the least informed amongst us on the subject. It really is a 'must view' on the Holocaust. It is quite lengthy, some 9 hours in all & with subtitles, yet this does not diminish from it's veracity and impact. It is such a shame that this production is not required viewing in our schools. We all need to be educated about this period in our not so recent history, before it happens again. Recommended."
A Documentary of Immense Power
M. D Roberts | 09/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lanzmann has fashioned a documentary that should be required viewing in every modern European history class, despite its length. Eschewing archival footage from the '30s and '40s, Lanzmann presents the slaughter of European Jewry through the testimony of the survivors ... surviving inmates, surviving guards ... even surviving neighbors of Auschwitz, who claim to have been unsure just WHAT was going on. For me, the most affecting interview is that with the Jewish Auschwitz barber who tells of how, in a period of 10 minutes, he silently shaved the heads of his wife, best friend and best friend's wife just prior to them being gassed ... none saying a word, so the barber can survive and offer his testimony. I wish I could give this film SIX stars ..."
The best made movie about the Holocaust
Norm | New Jersey | 11/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's been 17 years since I watched this movie in a hotel room in Munich on German television. Since that time Hollywood has made their own Holocaust movies, the latest being "The Pianist." By far , "Shoah" is the most meaningful movie that was made about the Holocaust. The shear hypocrisy of the Nazi's false promise to every death camp inmate of "Arbeit Macht Frei" is revealed through the words of the apathetic hypocrits who watched from the sidelines. It answers the question: Why could this global tragedy happen? It also answers the question: Who were these people who committed the atrocities and where were all the people who bore witness?The movie asks these questions of the real people who we want to know the answers from. Mr. Lanzman interviews the wife of a concentration camp commandant. Her attitude and her carefully chosen words speak volumes for what she doesn't say. She embodies evil to the nth degree. Her lack of empathy and gross disdain for the 10,000s of Jews that her husband murdered makes you sick to your stomach. And yet she is not guilty of anything more than being an accessory to mass murder and she has never spent a day of her life paying for the sins of her husband. She complains that her life after the war has been hard on her. She wants our pity.Mr. Lanzman interviews a peasant who lived along the rail line to Birkenau and Auschwitz. The jolly old peasant was proud of how he gesticulated to the hapless souls in the packed railcars how they would have their throats slit soon enough. The peasant made fun of how he convinced many a desparate Jew to throw him their jewelry in exchange for a cup of water - only to not give the Jew the promised water. There is no ray of hope. There is no triumph of good over evil. There is only the sheer will power and determination of the few survivors that now live in comfortable flats in Israel, the United States and other parts of the world. After the war, they picked themselves by their bootstraps and mentally blocked the horrors that befell upon them by the Nazis and they succeeded to live their lives.The conclusion I draw from this movie is to remain forever vigilant. Evil is banal. Evil can be overwhelming. Only a clear conscience, an open mind and a consistent collective voice against the darkness of evil will we keep men like Adolf Hitler from propagandizing his fellow countrymen and women into similar acts of atrocity."