Claude Lanzmann to Screen New Film The Last of the Unjust at USC Dec. 10

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 4:33pm

The award-winning French documentarian Claude Lanzmann will present his latest film, The Last of the Unjust, and participate in a discussion with USC Shoah Foundation executive director Stephen Smith at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Tues., Dec. 10.

The discussion begins at 7 p.m. in the Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108. The film, which is three hours and 40 minutes long, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The screening and discussion are free and open to the public. Seats are limited; RSVP here.

The Last of the Unjust reveals and builds on interviews Lanzmann conducted with Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein in 1975. Murmelstein was the last president of the Jewish Council of the Czechoslovakian ghetto Theresienstadt, and while he is credited with helping hundreds of thousands of Jews escape Austria and preventing the liquidation of the ghetto, his is also hated by many who feel he, as well as many other Jewish Council leaders, collaborated with Adolf Eichmann and other top Nazis.

The film features the 1975 interviews as well as Lanzmann’s 2012 journey back to Theresienstadt, where he again meets Murmelstein and pieces together his story and the conflicting identity of the Jewish Councils.

Lanzmann began his career as a journalist and started making documentary films about the Holocaust and Israel in 1970. He is best known for his 1985 film Shoah, a nine and a half-hour documentary about the Holocaust that took him 12 years to make. The film does not use any archival footage; instead, Lanzmann interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis in the present day to build a detailed portrait of the events of the Holocaust.

Lanzmann also directed Israel, Why (1973), Tsahal (1994), A Visitor From the Living (1999), Sobibor, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m (2001) and The Karski Report (2010).