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The Last of the Unjust

Claude Lanzmann
Le Dernier des injustes
France, Austria 2013 / 218’

88-year-old director Claude Lanzmann returns to his series of documentaries about the extermination of the Jews, the foundation of which was Shoah (1985), a monumental, nearly 10-hour film of interviews with Holocaust survivors. The Last of the Unjust is a recording of conversations conducted in 1975 with Benjamin Murmelstein, the chief rabbi of Vienna who, following the Anschluss, was forced to cooperate with Adolf Eichmann, the main architect of the Final Solution. Murmelstein saved more than 100,000 Jews from death, but like all those who worked with Eichmann, he was accused of collaboration after the war. However, "those people did collaborate of their own free will," the director said in an interview with France’s Libération. "I wanted to show that the so-called Jewish collaborators were not collaborators at all. They did not want to murder Jews. They did not share the Nazi ideology. They were forced to do what they did. And who the real murderers were, we know."

Adam Horowski

Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann was born in 1925 in Paris to a Jewish Family who had emigrated from Eastern Europe to France. During World War II, he was active in the French Resistance. He has made numerous films about Jewish subjects, the most acclaimed of which is Shoah (1985), a nearly 10-hour documentary of interviews with Holocaust survivals, which is considered the most important work on this subject. He is currently a lecturer at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.  

Selected filmography

1972 Dlaczego Izrael? / Pourquoi Israel / Israel, Why (doc.)

1985 Shoah (doc.)

1994 Tsahal (doc.)

2001 Sobibór / Sobibór, 14 octobre 1943, 16 heures / Sobibor (doc.)

2010 Le Rapport Karski (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Claude Lanzmann
screenplay Claude Lanzmann
cinematography William Lubtchansky, Caroline Champetier
editing Chantal Hymans
sound Alexander Koller
cast Benjamin Murmelstein, Claude Lanzmann
producer David Frenkel, Jean Labadie, Danny Krausz
production Synecdoche, Le Pacte, Dor Film Produktionsgesellschaft
sales Le Pacte
language German, French
colouration colour