Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (2024)

100% Tomatometer 37 Reviews 97% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage. Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories -- survivors, bystanders and perpetrators -- Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Consensus

Expansive in its beauty as well as its mind-numbing horror, Shoah is a towering -- and utterly singular -- achievement in cinema.

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Critics Reviews

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Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (1) Kate Muir Times (UK) Its riveting nine hours are perhaps the most important piece of historical cinema we possess. Rated: 5/5 Jan 9, 2015 Full Review Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (2) Kevin Thomas Los Angeles Times With his 9 1/2-hour Shoah, Claude Lanzmann has accomplished the seemingly impossible: He has brought such beauty to his recounting of the horror of the Holocaust that he has made it accessible and comprehensible. Jun 3, 2014 Full Review Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (3) Jay Boyar Orlando Sentinel By straightforwardly presenting interviews with people who lived through the Holocaust, Lanzmann makes it real again. Even more impressively, he helps us to see how the horror could have happened. Rated: 4/4 Jun 3, 2014 Full Review Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (4) Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review Shoah feels more essential than ever, demanding that its audience not just mourn and monumentalize the past, but experience it. Rated: 4/4 Feb 14, 2022 Full Review Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (5) Sabrina McFarland Common Sense Media Shoah remains today an essential film to educate about the history of the Holocaust and the issue of intolerance. Rated: 4/5 Apr 5, 2021 Full Review Shoah | Rotten Tomatoes (6) Jordan M. Smith IONCINEMA.com Words can not do justice to the elegance, the importance, nor the tragedy that Lanzmann's nine hour opus encompasses. Though an overwhelming undertaking, Shoah is absolutely essential viewing. Nov 13, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Dave S While it may not be the best documentary ever made, Shoah is most certainly the most impactful and the most important, as well as being remarkably timely when one considers the age in which we are living. Claude Lanzmann's horrifying epic, clocking in at over 9 hours, consists primarily of interviews with survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators of the Holocaust. Despite the intimidating running time, the film is compelling from start to finish, never shying away from the horrors of its subject, a sickening and stomach-churning viewing experience, but a viewing experience that needs to be seen. If there is one complaint, it is the use of the subtitles – too often, subtitles are provided for the interpreter's response to the subject's answer instead of simply providing the subtitles for the subject's response, effectively doubling the length of the interview, a problem considering the already considerable length of the film. Rated 4.5/5 Stars • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 04/03/24 Full Review Dara S Shoah continues it's reign as the King of Agitprop. A waste of 10 hours. Rated 0.5/5 Stars • Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 12/30/23 Full Review S R 1001 movies to see before you die. It took a long time to find this, but fortunately it turned up on YouTube. It is such an amazing accomplishment to have such an expansive, in depth view of the holocaust. It felt like it was incomplete and I was often a little confused to the structure. Regardless, I learned so much and appreciate this 10 year project. Rated 3.5/5 Stars • Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 10/24/23 Full Review william d Don't expect to learn why the Germans did what they did. There is no discussion of Nazi ideology here. What you will learn is what the Nazis did and the effect it had on its victims. It is both horrifying and mesmerizing at the same time. Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A masterpiece of filmmaking , A story which demands to be told and one which makes us remember how a whole generation was very nearly wiped out . The film will leave you breathless and keep you thinking for days afterwards. Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/10/22 Full Review William L Prolonged and harrowing, but a film that needed to be made and one that needed to be made within a certain timeframe to record the perspectives of eyewitnesses from all sides but with enough time elapsed to digest the atrocities that they either suffered or perpetrated. Lanzmann is uncompromising in his willingness to press for detail, both to recreate events without the assistance of contemporary sources and to gradually lead his subjects to confront experiences that they are often very reluctant to recall, but that posterity demands. Though some might criticize it as an unnecessary addition to an already prolonged runtime, holding back subtitles with respect to dialogue that he himself does not understand is a brilliant design element, one that forces the audience to inhabit Lanzmann's own degree of separation from his interview subjects, one that is only compounded by the pain of the subject matter. A powerful and very important record of one of the most vile events to have been designed in the course of human history, and one of the most emotional documentaries ever made. (5/5) Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/01/21 Full Review Read all reviews

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Cast & Crew

Claude Lanzmann Director Simon Srebnik Self Mordechaï Podchlebnik Self Richard Glazar Self Rudolf Vrba Self Inge Deutschkron Self
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Movie Info

Synopsis Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage. Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories -- survivors, bystanders and perpetrators -- Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka.

Director
Claude Lanzmann

Screenwriter
Claude Lanzmann

Production Co
Les Films Aleph, Ministère de la Culture de la Republique Française, Historia Films

Genre
Documentary

Original Language
French (France)

Release Date (Theaters)
Oct 23, 1985, Limited

Rerelease Date (Theaters)
Dec 10, 2010

Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 2, 2021

Box Office (Gross USA)
$15.6K

Runtime
9h 21m
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