In the 1960s he began working in television and film and later made the documentary Why Israel (1974). His nine-and-a-half-hour masterpiece, Shoah (1985), tells of the Nazi death camps in Poland through interviews with Jewish survivors, German guards and functionaries, and Poles who lived near the camps. Combining existential philosophy with New Wave film techniques, the documentary is one of the finest works of art to emerge from World War II, an unforgettable first-person record of the Holocaust . His other films are Tsahal (1994), a documentary about the Israeli military and the terror of war, and three feature-length films (1997, 2001, and 2010) made from Shoah's outtakes. Also originally intended for inclusion in Shoah, The Last of the Unjust (2013) is a nearly four-hour documentary that focuses on the memories and self-justifications of Rabbi Benjamin Murmelstein, who collaborated with Nazi authorities in running and maintaining the fiction of a
model ghetto at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Lanzmann also was the editor (1986–2018) of Les Temps Modernes.
See his autobiography (2009, tr. 2012).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Film and Television: Biographies