Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (47)
| Top Critics (20)
| Fresh (45)
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Murmelstein addresses Lanzmann's skepticism and questions with earnestness, passion and -- as if the rest of it wasn't troubling enough -- what seems like total recall.
Lanzmann organizes the material achronologically, presenting Murmelstein's narrative out of order and intercutting it with footage of Theresienstadt shot in 2012; this complex structure evokes a sense of moral vertigo that's nearly impossible to shake.
Those who think this is a black-and-white issue will be surprised, as Lanzmann himself appears to have been, by what is said here.
[Lanzmann is] the kind of witness the Holocaust needs: The witness who refuses to leave the stand until the full story is told.
The new film may not qualify for masterpiece status, but it's an enthralling portrait of a man-an exceptionally brilliant and articulate man-who personified the courage, complexity and moral ambiguity of his tortured time.
Murmelstein deserves his own movie and now, more than 20 years after his death, he gets it.
Claude Lanzmann has created a new film whose heart is the interview footage shot for his monumental "Shoah" project of Austrian Benjamin Murmelstein, the so-called last of the Jewish Elders, those nominally in charge of the Nazis' Jewish ghettos.
The Last of the Unjust breaks with the rigorous approach its director previously employed to find a just way to talk about the Nazis' mass murder of the Jews with film.
To some degree, the force of The Last of the Unjust is delivered in spite of Lanzmann's laxness as a filmmaker.
The best one can say for this troubling, if intermittently fascinating, mess is that it succeeds in raising questions, moral as well as aesthetic, that it cannot answer.
At three and a half hours, this documentary sometimes feels both overlong and far too detailed, but filmmaker Claude Lanzmann knows that this material is vitally important, and by putting it all out there he challenges the viewer to understand the truth.
Each viewer will judge its truth for themselves, but the director's compassionately unsentimental acceptance is clear and profound.
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