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Shoah (1985)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 9.7/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

97

liked it
Average Rating: 4.6/5
User Ratings: 1,120

My Rating

Movie Info

Shoah is an astonishing film on a number of levels, starting with its own existence -- a documentary on a subject so horrendous, and horrific, that few potential filmgoers really want to think much about it, or the events related within. But Jewish-French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann took the plunge, head-first into his subject, in the hope that the audience would follow for 570 minutes. And as it turned out, Lanzmann's extreme approach to filmmaking was precisely the correct one to take in dealing

Oct 7, 2003

$15.6k

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (0) | DVD (9)

[It] has transcended the cinema to become a primary record of the extermination of European Jews during the Second World War.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Why revisit "Shoah'' 25 years after it was first released? Because it matters more a quarter century on, just as it will matter even more in a hundred years, and 200, and - if it and we survive - a thousand.

January 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

the film's achievement is to show there are stories worth hearing, and ravaged, resilient faces that reward our scrutiny. The horror, the gallows humor, the shame and the heroism, the lessons of this holocaust -- and all others--have not been exhausted.

January 14, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At a time when the few remaining witnesses to the Holocaust are passing away, Shoah more than ever stands as a necessary experience.

January 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lanzmann slowly, cumulatively colors in a vast canvas on mass murder.

December 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The effect is relentless and cumulative.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

a magnificently disquieting experience--a harrowing descent into the depths of humanity's potential for unmitigated brutality, cruelty, and evil.

July 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

To see these places and events described by the voices and faces of those who lived through them is immensely important.

January 14, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

takes to task largely accepted concepts of what is known, what can be imagined, and how people relate to Hitler's mass extermination with an unrivaled formal insight.

December 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Viewing "Shoah" today proves that the Holocaust is not a discrete event, but rather an ongoing public narrative in which the movie continues to play a crucial part.

December 6, 2010 Full Review Source: indieWIRE
indieWIRE

'Shoah' is difficult to watch, but few other films match its consideration of unspeakable evil and indifference.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The chief success of the film...is to remove the Holocaust from its comfortably horrifying place in history, and restore a human face to the atrocities.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

In his seminal Holocaust documentary, which runs over 9 hours, Lanzmann doesn't use archival footage, only interviews with survivors and Nazi officers. He does something fascinating, placing his aggressive presence center-stage, not to be ignored.

March 3, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Magnificent.

July 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Lanzmann's project is so vast and so meticulous as to render any criticism, positive or negative, irrelevant.

December 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Lazmann's 9 1/2 hour labor of love equals The Triumph Of The Will for its [historical] importance

October 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

It is impossible not to change a little bit after watching all 9 1/2 hours of Shoah.

October 14, 2003 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com
DVDTalk.com

The film is undeniably tough going, but by looking into the hearts of the people that experienced the atrocities, it gets at the heart of the horror itself.

October 9, 2003 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

Lanzmann builds the past using tools that exist only in the present, summoning an unfathomable catastrophe with the voices and memories of survivors.

September 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Shoah

Documentaries are wonderful in terms of presenting an important subject for a viewing audience. The medium has had its fair share of meaningful films. Some documentaries have been very important in terms of its subject. Shoah is such a film. The film, with a run time of over nine hours and directed by Claude Lanzmann is the definitive work on the Holocaust. With extensive interviews with survivors and a few guards and others involved in this horrible tragedy, which gives a comprehensive understanding of the entire ordeal. Brilliantly crafted, with pure subtlety, not using archive footage, Lanzmann paints a vivid picture of this tragedy with interviews and filming the locations where it all happened. I've seen my fair share of documentaries on the subject, and read plenty of books, but Claude Lanzmann's picture is the most comprehensive, detailed and in depth work that will definitely give a better understanding of the horrors of the Holocaust. Even with its terrifying and tragic subject, Shoah is a beautiful, subtle film that manages to be very powerful and eye opening. Never before or since has a documentary been this important. Shoah is a film that needs to be seen due to its subject. Yes, the film is very long, but in watching it, you'll get a better understanding of the Holocaust. Shoah is hard to watch, but ultimately it is necessary so that we can comprehend this tragedy that claimed the lives of so many people. This film is an important history lesson, and it is a film that will stay with you long after you've seen it. The film is nine hours, and is long, like I've stated before, but it covers so much detail that it is necessary to tell the entire story of the Holocaust. Claude Lanzmann has crafted something truly powerful; here. This is an unmatched picture that is in a category of its own, and even if you have doubts about watching it due to its run time, you must definitely give this documentary a shot, you won't regret it. If you've ever been interested in the subject, Shoah is the perfect film to watch and you'll walk away from it with a better understanding of the cruelty of the Nazis towards the Jews during the Second World War. This is among the most powerful films ever made, and if you end up watching it, I think you'll agree.
October 20, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

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