Magazine article Screen International

Claude Lanzmann, Director of 'Shoah', Dies Aged 92

Magazine article Screen International

Claude Lanzmann, Director of 'Shoah', Dies Aged 92

Article excerpt

Local media reported the film-maker passed way in his native city of Paris on Thursday (July 5).

Claude Lanzmann

French director Claude Lanzmann, maker of the epic nine-and-a-half hour Holocaust documentary Shoah, has died at the age of 92.

Local media reported the film-maker passed way in his native city of Paris on Thursday (July 5).

Lanzmann was best known for the 1985 landmark documentary Shoah capturing the horror of the Holocaust through extensive interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators, against the backdrops of sites of death camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

He spent 11 years researching and making the film, at the same time as looking for finance to keep the ambitious project afloat.

It would become the benchmark and reference film for all other works - both fictional and non-fictional - about the Holocaust that came after.

Lanzmann had strong views about how the Holocaust should be portrayed or re-enacted on screen and courted controversy when he criticised Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and Roberto Begnini’s Life Is Beautiful for their “sentimental” portrait of the extermination of six million Jews in World War Two.

More recently, however, he endorsed Hungarian filmmaker Lazslo Nemes’s Son of Saul about a Jewish man working as a Sonderkommando in a Nazi death camp.

Beginnings

Lanzmann was born in Paris in 1925 to a Jewish family who had fled persecution in Eastern Europe. …

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