8th DMZ Docs(2016)
I AM DOCU
On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the release of Shoah—Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a-halfhour examination of the Holocaust of European Jews—it reveals for the first time the trials and tribulations he faced. It features an array of previously unseen outtake footage that was shot during the creation of Shoah, to illustrate Lanzmann’s journey from the bright-eyed journalist of 1973 to the world-weary author of 1985 and his life, including a teenage French resistance, his love affair with Simone de Beauvoir and his friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre.
Would there be another work which is more painful than this as a documentary filmmaker? Working on the Holocaust; the most miserable tragedy in the 20th century, or rather in the human history. Claude Lanzmann is the filmmaker who responds to this overwhelming task. With working for 10 years, he completed Shoah, a 9-hours-long documentary film monument. The documentary Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah is a dialogue with Claude Lanzmann, asking about what he had one through with while working on Shoah. The agony the director had when he was offered this project, the process where he has developed ideas of the film, working undercover on filming interviews with Nazi officers using a hidden camera, the painful emotions the director had during editing which drove him into almost giving up his life; on one hand, these make the film look like another a making-of documentary, but on the other hand, this documentary has more. The heavy feelings which weighed down on the director while making the film Shoah throws a question of why we are making documentary films, and furthermore an ontological one - how we should live. This film questions what the nature of the documentary filmmaking is and how far we could the border between freedom expression and ethics. Could it be justified to filming undercover with a hidden camera? Would it be possible to build a partnership between the interviewer and interviewees to search for ‘the truth’? Dealing with the issues the production of Shoah raised, Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah questions us what the documentary is. [Park Moon-chil]
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (2015)