Blu-ray, DVD Release: Shoah

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 25, 2013
Price: DVD $99.95, Blu-ray $99.95
Studio: Criterion

Shoah movie sceneOver a decade in the making, Claude Lanzmann’s nine-hour-plus 1985 documentary opus Shoah is a monumental investigation of the unthinkable: the murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis.

Using no archival footage, Lanzmann instead focuses on first-person testimonies (of survivors and former Nazis, as well as other witnesses), employing a circular, free-associative method in assembling them. The intellectual yet emotionally overwhelming Shoah (the Hebrew word for “holocaust”) is not a film about excavating the past but an intensive portrait of the ways in which the past is always present.

Shoah remains, inarguably, one of the most important cinematic works of all time.

Previously issued on DVD by New Yorker back in 2003, Shoah has been out of print for years. The Criterion release represents the film’s return to DVD and its Blu-ray debut.

The DVD and Blu-ray contain the following features:

• New high-definition digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Three additional films by director Claude Lanzmann: A Visitor from the Living (1999, 68 minutes), Sobibor, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. (2001, 102 minutes), and The Karski Report (2010, 54 minutes)
• New conversation between critic Serge Toubiana and Lanzmann
• Interview with Lanzmann about A Visitor from the Living and Sobibor
• New conversation between associate director of photography Caroline Champetier and filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin
• Trailer
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones and writings by Lanzmann


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.