Events Calendar
Oct 2
17:00 - 19:00
Rescue and Resistance in Claude Lanzmann's Shoah Outtakes
Film, Media and Culture Research Cluster Research Seminar
Professor Sue Vice (University of Sheffield)

In this talk, Professor Sue Vice will analyse some of the interviews from the 220 hours of extra footage that Claude Lanzmann excluded from his 9.5-hour documentary film Shoah (1985). In these outtake interviews, Lanzmann's interest in the topics of rescue and resistance during the Holocaust years emerges clearly, as well as the extreme difficulty of accomplishing either. This concern is a radical contrast to the eventual focus of Shoah on the experience of the extermination camps. In several of these discarded interviews, it seems clear that Lanzmann envisaged the use of experimental filmic methods to match their unusual concerns. 'Indirect testimony' thus takes place in the case of the late Rabbi Michael Weissmandl, whose voice and presence are conveyed by other people to construct a polyphonic image of his efforts at rescue in wartime Slovakia. 'Communal testimony' is used in a contrasting series of interviews on the subject of the War Refugee Board, established in the USA by presidential decree in January 1944. In this case, an institutional effort at rescue is the testimonial focus, conveyed by conflicting words and images from a range of divergent subject-positions.Sue will conclude by asking why Lanzmann did not use any of this material in Shoah or in a separate release, and how we might consider the topic of rescue and resistance in the light of the director's other works and Holocaust representation more broadly.Everyone welcome.


University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Angela Whiffen


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012