The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, March 23, 2019

Claude Lanzmann, director of Holocaust film 'Shoah', dies at 92
In this file photograph taken on May 11, 1985, French writer, journalist and movie producer Claude Lanzmann poses in his office in Paris. 92 year-old Lanzmann, died on July 5, 2018, according to his publishers. DERRICK CEYRAC / AFP.

by Joseph Schmid

PARIS (AFP).- French filmmaker and writer Claude Lanzmann, whose landmark 1985 documentary "Shoah" revealed the horrors of the Holocaust over nine hours of chilling eyewitness accounts, died in Paris on Thursday aged 92.

"Claude Lanzmann died at his home. He had been very, very weak for several days" following a recent hospitalisation for fatigue, a spokeswoman for his publishing house Gallimard told AFP.

Lanzmann had worked constantly since the 1972 release of his first film, "Israel, Why", often taking chapters of his own life as inspiration.

Last year, he presented at the Cannes film festival "Napalm", about his brief but intense romance with a North Korean nurse in 1958.

And his last film, "The Four Sisters", about four Holocaust survivors, was released in French cinemas just this week.

But it was the 1985 release of "Shoah" (the Hebrew word for "calamity" often used for the Holocaust), widely considered the most haunting film made about the murder of six million Jews during World War II, which propelled him to global acclaim.

The groundbreaking nine-and-a-half-hour work consists largely of interviews with survivors and witnesses of Nazi death camps in Poland, including camp workers, alongside shots of sites where the horrors occurred.

Lanzmann spent 12 years working on the film, compiling 350 hours of footage, much of which would be used for his later films on the Holocaust.

Many of the scenes remain hard to watch, including one of a man tearfully recounting how he had to cut the hair of women just before they entered a gas chamber, unable to tell them what awaited on pain of being sent in with them.

Lanzmann spent years tracking down the man, eventually finding him in Israel.
"If I am unstoppable it's because of the truth, which I believe in profoundly," he said in an interview with AFP last year.

Romance with Beauvoir
Lanzmann, the grandson of Jews from Belarus, was born on November 27, 1925, in the Paris suburb of Bois-Colombes. His father was a decorator and his mother an antiques dealer.

In 1940 his father brought him and his brother and sister to Brioude, a remote village in the south-central region of Auvergne, where he taught them how to hide and make a quick escape.

"Through the branches we could see his SS boots and heard the anguished voice of a Jewish father: 'You moved, you made noise!'" Lanzmann wrote in his 2009 autobiography, "The Patagonian Hare".

He was also unsparing with himself, telling of his "cowardice" for not standing up for a red-haired classmate suffering anti-Semitic taunts at his Paris high school.

Lanzmann joined the French Resistance when he was 18, and after the war ended he taught at the newly founded Free University in Berlin.

Upon his return to France he earned his living as a rewriter at several French newspapers before becoming secretary to the existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1952.

He was 26 when he met Sartre's partner, the feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir, then 44. They soon became lovers, one of several open relationships enjoyed by both Sartre and Beauvoir.

"We weren't a trio. I had a relationship of my own with Sartre," he said last year when he sold dozens of letters written by Beauvoir to Lanzmann, the only man she ever lived with, to Yale University.

Lanzmann would eventually become the editor at "Les Temps Modernes", the highly influential review founded by Beauvoir and Sartre, and became an outspoken critic of colonialism during the 1960s, including France's occupation of Algeria.

'Loss for humanity'
His own life was marked with tragedy, including the suicide of his sister Evelyne when she was 36, and the death last year of his son from cancer at just 22.

But he remained defiant and upbeat to the end, telling AFP in March this year: "I still believe in life. I love life to distraction even if often it is not very funny."

His death prompted an outpouring of tributes to his work.

Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the French director had allowed his country to reconcile with its past.

"Every one of us who wonders about our responsiblity as a German should see 'Shoah'," he wrote on Twitter.

"Claude Lanzmann's death constitutes an enormous loss for humanity and especially for the Jewish people," Israel's foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told AFP.

Franco-German channel Arte announced it had cleared its Saturday night schedule to screen Shoah from 20:50 and would make the film available on its website for 60 days.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

July 6, 2018

Thieves steal ancient arrow poison from Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in the Netherlands

Michael Eastman's color photographs of the architecture of Havana on view at the Sheldon Museum of Art

France, UK in Bayeux Tapestry conservation push

Rubens, Canova and Turner lead $100 million sale week in London

Met Museum sets new attendance record with more than 7.35 million visitors

Claude Lanzmann, director of Holocaust film 'Shoah', dies at 92

Tate St Ives wins £100,000 Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018

Otto Naumann to join Sotheby's Old Masters Division

Erwin Wurm's first large-scale exhibition in Budapest opens at Ludwig Museum

Karen R. Lawrence named President of The Huntington

The Hepworth Wakefield announces plans for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017 £100,000 prize money

'Anish Kapoor: Works, Thoughts, Experiences' opens at Serralves Contemporary Art Museum

Anger over charity auction of night in Mandela's cell

Cube Gallery opens exhibition of works by Anna Masters

Beijing eyes UNESCO status for Mao tomb, Tiananmen Square

Sadie Coles HQ exhibits works by Daniel Sinsel at Simone Subal Gallery for CONDO New York 2018

Rare portrait of Sir Francis Drake top lot at Bonhams

M+ opens its first interdisciplinary exhibition to explore Southeast Asia

New, multi-channel sound installation by Shilpa Gupta on view at YARAT Contemporary Art Space

Leading Scottish and international artists sell art from car boots, bikes and skateboards

China Guardian Spring Auctions 2018 conclude in Beijing with remarkable results

A 'Japanese tip': the origami art left by diners

Nelson's Victory Watch for the Battle of Trafalgar sells for $425,523 at Sotheby's London

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Historic show marks 350 years of Rembrandt, the 'first Instagrammer'

2.- Kimbell Museum Acquires Cranach Masterpiece

3.- Exhibition presents the most outstanding works from the Princely Collections

4.- MIMA opens an immersive and playful exhibition called "DREAM BOX"

5.- First exhibition of its kind pairs classic cars and Postwar paintings

6.- New Bouguereau exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum explores artist's popularity in Gilded Age America

7.- Superstar designer Karl Lagerfeld dies at the age of 85

8.- Paul Gauguin's artistic innovations installed in tropical setting reflecting their inspiration

9.- Major gift to The Met of Peter Doig's modern masterpiece Two Trees

10.- Monet - Reinventions of Impressionism in a new large-scale exhibition

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful