Sunday, February 14, 2016

735. Shoah

Directed by Claude Lanzmann

I am usually the first to complain about running times of movies, since some of these directors seem like they think they are paid by the minute.  But I really think this film is worthy of its nine hour running time and no, I'm not just saying that out of guilt.

Through a series of interviews with witnesses (some of them actual perpetrators), Shoah recounts stories of the Holocaust.  These kind of wartime atrocities always seem far removed from our everyday reality.  Shoah forces us to get close and realize that this isn't some distant historical event, especially when we are forced to listen to people actually involved with the evil doing, each one of them convinced that they weren't in anyway responsible for what happened.

I do believe that every minute of this film is important, but I can see why the length might turn people off.  Although I think it is already clear that this is not going to be the most enjoyable or comfortable time at the movies.  And hey, if people want a shorter film they can always watch Night and Fog.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

No archive footage was used.


  1. Gosh .. all those other films .. and this as well? Are you getting any sleep at all as well as being laid up in bed?
    OK.. lets tackle the length issue .. the dilemma of which you sum up very well. It feels a wrong doing to ask for anything like this to be trimmed in anyway .. because we cannot be bothered to sit in a comfortable chair (or bed) to learn about it. Right, that makes us feel comfortable and stops any smugness right in it's track.
    But I did feel that the slowness did , at times (so sorry .. Guilt trip, guilt trip...) get just a tad .. attention wandering. I thought that some of the slow, relentless, full translation via 3 languages

    1. Haha I need constant distraction. I think I broke this up perfectly so I didn't get bored. I don't know if I could have done it in one sitting.