6.9/10
298
4 user 16 critic

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (2015)

Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
Claude Lanzmann discusses the long and difficult process of researching, shooting, editing and presenting his groundbreaking and influential documentary Shoah (1985).

Director:

Adam Benzine

Writer:

Adam Benzine
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Chau, a 16-year-old boy living in a Vietnamese peace camp for kids disabled by Agent Orange, battles with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional clothing designer.

Director: Courtney Marsh
Body Team 12 (2015)
Documentary | Short | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Body Team 12 is tasked with collecting the dead at the height of the Ebola outbreak. These body collectors have arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world. Yet despite the ... See full summary »

Director: David Darg
Shoah (1985)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.

Director: Claude Lanzmann
Stars: Simon Srebnik, Michael Podchlebnik, Motke Zaïdl
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman in Pakistan sentenced to death for falling in love becomes a rare survivor of the country's harsh judicial system.

Director: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Stars: Asad Jamal, Saba
Documentary | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime he agonizes over his decision to call the police. Living Condition: Bill's Story is an animated account of his decision to... See full summary »

Directors: Dee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman
Stars: Bill Babbitt
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Watani - My Homeland is the story of one family's fight and struggle to survive the Syrian Civil War. Having lost her husband, the mother makes the heart achingly painful decision to leave ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Mettelsiefen
Shoah: Four Sisters (TV Series 2018)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Four interviews done in the 1970s with women who survived the Holocaust.

Stars: Claude Lanzmann, Paula Biren, Ruth Elias
Joanna I (2013)
Documentary | Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A story of thoughtfulness in death, life and love.

Director: Aneta Kopacz
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The war crimes trial of one of the most infamous figures from the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Directors: Robert Miller, Henry Singer
Knife Skills (2017)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Lennon
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A revelatory, thrilling and emotional journey behind the scenes of Blue Note Records, the pioneering label that gave voice to some of the finest jazz artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Director: Sophie Huber
Stars: Ambrose Akinmusire, Art Blakey, John Coltrane
Documentary | Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A brilliant but tortured 56-year-old artist channels her depression and anxiety into her work.

Director: Frank Stiefel
Stars: Tom Wudl
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Claude Lanzmann ... Himself
Marcel Ophüls ... Himself
Stuart Liebmann Stuart Liebmann ... Himself - Author
Richard Brody Richard Brody ... Himself - Film critic
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abraham Bomba Abraham Bomba ... Himself (archive footage)
Simone de Beauvoir ... Herself (archive footage)
Ruth Elias Ruth Elias ... Herself (archive footage)
Richard Glazar ... Himself (archive footage) (as Richard Glazer)
Jan Karski ... Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Landau Hermann Landau ... Himself (archive footage)
Filip Müller ... Himself (archive footage)
Tadeusz Pankiewicz Tadeusz Pankiewicz ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael Podchlebnik ... Himself (archive footage)
France Roche France Roche ... Herself (archive footage)
Jean-Paul Sartre ... Himself (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

"Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah" begins by putting the eponymous journalist/filmmaker's monumental nine-and-a-half-hour documentary on the Holocaust, Shoah (1985), in a quick context with thoughts from the likes of film critic Richard Brody and director Marcel Ophuls. It then dives headlong into a study of its making, with Lanzmann recounting the great emotional toll the seven years of production and five years of editing had on him. It is at once a fascinating portrait of a man openly pessimistic about the world, and a unique distillation of a creative process that yielded one of the most powerful cinematic documents of our time. Written by Variety

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

TV-PG
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Germany | UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

April 2015 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Lanzmann See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended director's cut)

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First-time director Adam Benzine financed the shoot himself. He finally could get investments from European TV stations when the short documentary was nearly finished. See more »

Quotes

Claude Lanzmann, Himself: I got very close to people, men from the "Sonderkommandos," who were the special unit who were charged with the maintenance of the extermination, the work in the incinerators, who led people up to the gas chambers... The Sonderkommandos who talk in "Shoah" never tell their personal story. They are the spokesmen for the dead.
See more »

Connections

Features Shoah (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Perfect Topic, Only a Shadow of Execution
10 February 2016 | by svorvaSee all my reviews

A film critic once said "It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it." This idea must be kept in mind when evaluating Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah. Specters is founded upon the perfect topic. Lanzmann is a creator of a film that is more than a film, the definitive Holocaust documentary, one of the most important accomplishments in cinema history. However, the method of this movie is relatively unimaginative, uncovering no profound insight.

Spectres opens with a few film personalities lauding Shoah. Lanzmann is introduced as complex, temperamental, and genius. After this brief introduction, the remaining film is an interview intercut with clips from Shoah and other archival footage. Lanzmann is dynamically shot from a variety of angles and distances, but is face is constantly partially obscured by shadows. This is an attractive look with obvious connotations. This man is a ghostly hero, permanently marred by his herculean labor. This melodrama provides unnecessary legitimacy to his pessimistic attitude. Specters revisits many of the most iconic moments in Shoah and asks Lanzmann to elaborate. He emphasizes the emotional pain, brotherhood, danger, but all of these themes were infinitely better communicated in Shoah itself. All efforts devoted to expanding the scope beyond Shoah are woefully pedestrian. Lanzmann anecdotes and history are reasonably interesting, but they fail to coalesce into greater themes. Specter's best moments are simply when it helps us remember Shoah. Maybe my expectations are too high. One interview and some basic biography research just seems insufficient.

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of Shoah could at best serve as an introduction to the topic. Hopefully this inspires those who understand this is not the definitive retrospect. I just worry this is a topic that can score a free Oscar. Awards are just awards, but they can trick people into thinking accolades are metrics of merit. I hope we can recognize films with quality beyond content.


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed