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The Specialist (1999)

Un spécialiste, portrait d'un criminel moderne (original title)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Adolf Eichmann ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Release Date:

31 March 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Specialist  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,267 (USA) (14 April 2000)

Gross:

$20,021 (USA) (21 April 2000)
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Eyal Sivan's response to forgery accusations
5 August 2006 | by (Antibes, France) – See all my reviews

The IMDb guidelines do not allow me to display the URL to this article. You know how to find it. :)

"The Spielberg archive took six years to point out presumed defects in the film, and that indicates the extent of the archive's efficiency," said director Eyal Sivan in response to the complaints against him. "The archive betrayed its role as the body responsible for preserving the Eichmann trial materials." Sivan says that when they began work on the film, the archive offered them 68 hours from the trial. Only after searching did the production team find the rest of the materials, "which were stored in the bathroom of the Hebrew University law faculty. I personally worked for seven months cataloging all the reels we found. We saved all the materials, at our own expense, transferred them to a digital format, and even gave the original copy to the state. Spielberg's people accuse us of editing and of taking things out of context. It's strange that people who betrayed their role are raising such a claim."

Sivan replies to the complaints against "The Specialist" in four words: "We made a film," with everything that implies - editing and adding effects. "After the film was screened for the first time at the festival in Berlin, we emphasized our cinematic work, both in the press and in the book we published afterwards. All the materials we used underwent treatment. We added lighting. We touched up the picture. And still, the claim that we added external laughter to one of the scenes is a lie. The film's sound was taken from the audio tapes of the trial."

In regard to the witness who did not reply to the question "Why didn't you resist?" while in the original another witness was asked about that, Sivan says: "Most of the witnesses were asked the same question. It's true that there's editing here, but it's a film. Hausner's opening speech lasted for three days, and in the film there's only one minute. Did we commit fraud here as well? 'The Specialist' is not the Eichmann trial, it's a film from the archives of the Eichmann trial." And why were Hausner's shouts at Eichmann placed in the wrong context? "The Eichmann trial lasted for nine months, whereas the film lasts for 123 minutes," replies Sivan. "Spielberg's people have to remember that their job is not to make movies, and our job is not to do archival work."

Regarding the blurring of the picture in order to create a similarity between Eichmann and Hausner, both with their backs to the camera, Sivan says: "Did I place them next to one another? Is it my fault that they were both bald and dressed in black? Moreover, had I not presented this scene, would the Spielberg people still have asked why I cut the scene? Of course not!"

In the same language, Sivan also replies to the question as to why he cut short Meyer's testimony, in which he mentions Eichmann's coarse manner of speaking. "Had we presented only the part where Eichmann is a rude man, the Spielberg archive would have asked why I didn't use the scene in which Meyer testifies that he was a nice man."

Regarding the claim that Freudiger's testimony is an editing of two meetings, Sivan says: "That's an outright lie. The Spielberg archive has an old ideological approach, according to which memory is more important than history. It's more important to them to show the witnesses than to discuss the past. Freudiger's testimony at the Eichmann trial is extraordinary because the audience in the courtroom came out against Freudiger and accused him of collaboration."


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