As we all anxiously await Criterion’s much talked about Blu-ray of Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah, the director has yet again set his sights on the Holocaust for a brand new documentary.
Entitled Last Of The Unjust, a clip from the film has arrived, and this looks to be yet another devastating look at one of history’s darkest times.
The film clocks in at nearly four hours in length, and is a continuation of sorts for the director’s aforementioned nine-plus hour long masterpiece. The picture looks into the life of Benjamin Murmelstein, one of the few Jewish “Elders” whose lives were spared during WWII, and the man who oversaw operations at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. This footage was originally set to be added to his behemoth documentary, but was ultimately left out. The film looks and sounds like a breathtaking look at the Holocaust, finding Lanzmann weaving looking at these interviews, and also looking at the places where the events took place.
Some reviews coming out of the Cannes Film Festival have been a tad problematic however. Sight And Sound’s Geoff Andrew sights the film as “not only enormously detailed but occasionally repetitive,” ultimately finding the film to be “both powerful and admirably lucid.” The Guardian calls it a “remarkable film,” so this is sounding like a truly great film, if not one that will be the easiest watch. I haven’t seen much of Lanzmann’s filmography, as it is all but impossible to find on DVD, so Criterion’s pending Shoah box set is going to be thrilling to watch. And this film should fit perfectly alongside that iconic documentary.