The first Holocaust Documentary to not use a single piece of archival footage. It was filmed in the 1960s and into the 70s and was edited for 10 years afterwards. “Shoah” by Claude Lanzmann honestly seems like it’s not going to be interesting at all – especially considering it’s 9 hours of interviews – but the stories are haunting. He interviews Nazis, bystanders (particularly insightful,) and victims of course. They’re all still young which is fascinating. It really makes you wonder how odd the world must’ve been back then – potentially walking past a former prison guard of yours or something like that. We always think that the world is coming to an end now – but imagine living in Berlin in 1945!
Another interesting aspect of this movie is Claude Lanzmann himself. He got quite a bit of criticism for how he pushes the subjects he’s interviewing. That part I truly didn’t mind – the parts that were horrible are when he would not shut up with the stupid confirmation questions of what the person just said. Either way, though, this is truly a fundamental piece of documentary footage that every advanced Holocaust scholar. I say ‘advanced’ because one needs to know the context of the Holocaust in order to understand these wild stories.