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

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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 ...
Himself
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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Release Date:

November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Шоа  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$15,642 (USA) (31 December 2010)
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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

With a running length exceeding 9 hours, this is the longest film listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, the book series edited by Steven Jay Schneider. 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.
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Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.4 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A true horror movie
12 January 2000 | by (Castro Valley, California) – See all my reviews

This documentary made me squirm in my seat and shiver more that any fictional horror movie ever has. There were no graphic images to shock the viewer, only people. People with tales of survival and death that I wish I could push to the back of my mind saying "It's only a movie". It's not. It is an oral history of a terrifying time. I will never forget the emotions I felt watching Shoah. I hope more people take the time to see this long, but very worthwhile documentary.


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