I, personally, enjoyed the film Shoah. The word Shoah is another term for the Holocaust, in which the film is focused around. The film was produced by Claude Lanzmann, and took over eleven years to make. The film was fascinating and really drew me in. I remember my early educational years, learning about the Jewish Holocaust during World War II. This film enhanced my previous teachings by utilizing eye-witnesses.
It is the way in which the film was produced that intrigues me. I found it odd that Lanzmann did not incorporate any historical footage or archival materials. He relied heavily upon interviews with people and visiting the sites that still remain. I have never been to a Holocaust concentration camp or any memorials that exist in Europe except for one that was in Normandy, France. I have seen footage from such remembrances, but not like this.
After watching this film knowing that the film struggled financially and with trying to ensure ethical integrity, I have a much deeper respect for Lanzmann. I never understood those who believed that the Holocaust never existed. We’ve all seen historical images and footage; however, Lanzmann’s lack of historical archival materials, to me, enhances the reality of the Holocaust’s existence. Initially the film had the support of Israeli officials, but they eventually withdrew. I am curious to know why they chose to withdraw their support. I believe that with some of their financial support Lanzmann’s film could have gone through better editing, enhancing the overall experience.
Nevertheless, Shoah is a must-watch film. While I was reminded of Schindler’s List, Lanzmann does not need fictional characters to bring the truth of the Holocaust to life. These first-hand accounts and visuals of actually visiting the sites and memorials does justice to those who were victim to such atrocity.