8.4/10
7,642
46 user 75 critic

Shoah (1985)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, War | November 1985 (USA)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer
Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.

Director:

Claude Lanzmann

Writer:

Claude Lanzmann
14 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Srebnik ... Himself
Michael Podchlebnik ... Himself (as Michaël Podchlebnik)
Motke Zaïdl Motke Zaïdl ... Himself
Hanna Zaïdl Hanna Zaïdl ... Herself
Jan Piwonski Jan Piwonski ... Himself
Itzhak Dugin Itzhak Dugin ... Himself
Richard Glazar ... Himself (as Richard Glazer)
Paula Biren ... Herself
Helena Pietyra ... Herself (as Pana Pietyra)
Pan Filipowicz ... Himself
Pan Falborski ... Himself
Abraham Bomba Abraham Bomba ... Himself
Czeslaw Borowi Czeslaw Borowi ... Himself
Henrik Gawkowski ... Himself
Rudolf Vrba 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK

Release Date:

November 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Шоа See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,874, 12 December 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,642, 2 January 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Color / B&W)| Black and White (some scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adam Czerniaków, who is the subject of Raul Hilberg's interview about the Warsaw Ghetto, was portrayed by actor Donald Sutherland in the television film Uprising (2001). See more »

Goofs

Srebnik and Podchlebnik were not the only Jewish survivors of the Chelmno Extermination Camp. Today we know at least 9 by name, but not all survived WWII and/or gave testimonies. Lanzmann probably didn't know then. See more »

Quotes

Franz Suchomel: If you lie enough, you believe your own lies.
See more »


Soundtracks

Mandolinen um Mitternacht
Performed by Peter Alexander (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Be prepared for a long haul
22 December 2006 | by tjantusSee all my reviews

It's nine and a half hours of travelogue footage and interviews with terribly ordinary middle-aged and senior citizens about events that happened a half-century ago.

Except that the sites visited are the scenes of the systematic mass murder of roughly 11 million men, women and children, including some 6 million Jews, and the ordinary grandparents are the survivors and perpetrators of some of the most horrendous atrocities that mankind has committed upon each other.

It is a terribly draining movie, hypnotic and disorienting, both in it's length and in the blandness, the matter-of-fact descriptions of things that would make a normal person scream in horror. And that is what is so amazingly important and meaningful about this film; that these were ordinary, average people. These were, and are, normal folks like you and me, and anybody, regardless of background, moral upbringing, and standards of decency can be caught up in circumstances beyond their power or experience, and can do the most depraved or heroic things imaginable. It is shocking, insightful, and a very,very important film that forces us to confront our own humanity and decide what that, in fact means.

But it's nine and a half hours long. Be prepared to be drained and leave with your head buzzing.


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