Take the first official look at Claude Lanzmann
‘s The Last Of the Unjust
(Le dernier des injustes
) documentary which premiered Out of Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival
Great but a pretty creepy look at one of history’s darkest times – that’s what this film is all about. It reveals the true face of Eichmann, and exposes without artifice the savage contradictions of the Jewish Councils.
Described as an unprecedented insight into the genesis of the Final Solution, The Last of the Unjust revolves around Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Theresienstadt Jewish Council, who was forced to negotiate with Nazi commander Adolf Eichmann from 1938 until the end of the Second World War.
The doc takes its place beside three other films Lanzmann made containing interviews and material that didn’t find a place in the epic “Shoah: A Visitor from the Living”, “Sobibor, 14 October 1943”, and “The Karsky Report”.
In case you want more details about the story, here’s the official synopsis:
1975. In Rome, Claude Lanzmann filmed a series of interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia, the only “Elder of the Jews” (according to Nazi terminology) not to have been killed during the war. A rabbi in Vienna, following the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, Murmelstein fought bitterly with Adolf Eichmann, week after week for seven years, managing to help around 121,000 Jews leave the country, and preventing the liquidation of the ghetto.
2012. Claude Lanzmann, at 87 – without masking anything of the passage of time on men, but showing the incredible permanence of the locations involved – exhumes these interviews shot in Rome, returning to Theresienstadt, the town “given to the Jews by Hitler”, a so-called model ghetto, but a ghetto of deceit chosen by Adolf Eichmann to dupe the world. We discover the extraordinary personality of Benjamin Murmelstein: a man blessed with a dazzling intelligence and a true courage, which, along with an unrivaled memory, makes him a wonderfully wry, sardonic and authentic storyteller.
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