You can't really rate or comment on this film, you simply have to see it and let it overwhelm you. One of the most important documentaries ever made.
This documentary stays with you for days. Recommended for everyone above 10 years of age.
The impacts of this film are beyond words. Think of it -- there is not one single photograph of the interior of any of the gas chambers, either crowded with living people, or crowded with their dead bodies. Not one. But this film, it allows us to experience the Shoah more so than any archive or documentary. Lanzmann's memory and his works are a blessing.
No doubt one of the most important documentaries to be produced in the 20th century. I could only manage to watch the first disc (2 hours) as I found it too upsetting, disturbing, sad, appalling, many words come to mind. Nonetheless it was necessary for someone to produce this tribute to the courage of the witnesses and to document the perpetrators on film. Bravo to Mr. Lanzmann, whose film and dedication is worthy of a Nobel Prize.
At over nine hours for the film itself and over twelve if you include the extras, this requires of the viewer a far greater amount of attention, patience, and seriousness than what they might be used to giving. Its certainly a 'necessary' film for those interested in both history and film history. I highly recommend it.
One of the most amazing, as well as intellectually and emotionally exhausting documentaries I've ever seen.
If for no other reason, everyone should watch this to see how the holocaust was actually carried out. The film does this via description by living witnesses, while often visiting the sites where these events occurred, not via stock wartime footage. I watched this over the course of several nights, as nearly all of the film contains subtitled back-and forth translations, and even though the subject matter is engaging, it becomes somewhat boring during extended viewing. (The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the tedious way the translations were handled.)
Not many people have a clear picture of how and where the holocaust was actually carried out, and we all should. Mass murder makes routine appearances throughout human history, and the Jewish certainly weren't the first or last to fall victims to it. The Nazis weren't just an aberration, and there were many, many people who fully supported what they did, as becomes very evident when you hear first-person accounts of the Polish actually cheering as the Jews were hauled to their deaths packed into train cars like cattle.
Individuals should never abdicate responsibility for their own personal defense to the police or military, because history shows us over and over what happens to groups of people who aren't equipped and prepared to defend themselves.
lest we forget, a haunting account of the horrors of Auschwitz, and by extension of all the other World War ll Nazi extermination camps, by the very few who survived; a harrowing but indispensable document, testament, wherein those who had tried to dehumanize an entire people are ultimately themselves confirmed inhuman by their flagrantly monstrous acts; though all their innocent and defenceless victims may now rest in eternal peace this movie will remain their quiet thunder
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