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Shoah (1985)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, History, War  |  November 1985 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 4,948 users   Metascore: 99/100
Reviews: 42 user | 68 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

Claude Lanzmann directed this 9 1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust without using a single frame of archive footage. He interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (whom he had to film ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Srebnik ...
Himself
Michael Podchlebnik ...
Himself
Motke Zaidl ...
Himself
Hanna Zaidl ...
Herself
Jan Piwonski ...
Himself
Itzhak Dugin ...
Himself
Richard Glazer ...
Himself
Paula Biren ...
Herself
Pana Pietyra ...
Herself
Pan Filipowicz ...
Himself
Pan Falborski ...
Himself
Abraham Bomba ...
Himself
Czeslaw Borowi ...
Himself
Henrik Gawkowski ...
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Rudolf Vrba ...
Himself
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Storyline

Claude Lanzmann directed this 9 1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust without using a single frame of archive footage. He interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (whom he had to film secretly since they only agreed to be interviewed by audio). His style of interviewing by asking for the most minute details is effective at adding up these details to give a horrifying portrait of the events of Nazi genocide. He also shows, or rather lets some of his subjects themselves show, that the anti-Semitism that caused 6 million Jews to die in the Holocaust is still alive and well in many people who still live in Germany, Poland, and elsewhere. Written by Gene Volovich <volovich@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Шоа  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,874 (USA) (10 December 2010)

Gross:

$15,642 (USA) (31 December 2010)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the film is exceptionally long and deals with an historical subject, no archive footage of World War II or concentration or death camps was used. Unused footage, of which there was plenty, would be used by Claude Lanzmann to make several other shorter documentaries. See more »

Quotes

Claude Lanzmann: And this "death panic"?
Franz Suchomel: When this "death panic" sets in, one lets go. It's well known when someone's terrified, and knows he's about to die; it can happen in bed. My mother was kneeling by her bed...
Claude Lanzmann: Your mother?
Franz Suchomel: Yes. Then there was a big pile. That's a fact. It's been medically proved.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in God Is Great and I'm Not (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Simply Amazing
13 December 1999 | by (Cyberia) – See all my reviews

This eight-hour documentary is NOT what you might think. It contains not one frame of archival footage of Nazi atrocities. Instead, it is dozens of modern (early '80s) interviews with surviving death camp inmates, guards, a commandant and people living near the camps. In several cases, Lanzman takes surviving inmates back to the razed sites of the camps, where they recount the horrific indignities visited upon them. The most hair-raising interview is about six hours in, with a Jewish barber who, in the space of 5 minutes, shaved the heads of his wife, his best friend and his best friend's wife just prior to their being gassed. With tears welling up, he describes shaving their heads in silence and without acknowledgement, so he might continue living and offer testimony to their hellish demise.


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