Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

The first major documentary exploring the life and work of French iconoclast Claude Lanzmann.


Biography, Portrait, History, and Arts

In 1973, French journalist Claude Lanzmann began work on a film about the Holocaust that would change his life forever. Twelve years later, having shot more than 200 hours of footage, the maverick filmmaker finally completed "Shoah", his nearly 10-hour-long masterpiece, which today ranks among the greatest documentaries ever created. In "Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah", the 90-year-old iconoclast opens up for the first time about the trials and tribulations he faced while creating his magnum opus, and the weight it left him carrying. In addition to his years spent tracking down Nazi officials and traumatized death camp survivors, the filmmaker also discusses his teenage years fighting in the French Resistance, his relationship with existential philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean‐Paul Sartre, and his hopes and expectations for the future, as Emmy-winning composer Joel Goodman ("Clinton", "Walt Disney") provides a poignant and moving original score.

Running time
40 and 58 minutes


  • Adam Benzine ... Writer, Director, Producer
  • Kimberley Warner ... Co-Producer
  • Nick Fraser ... Executive Producer
  • Tiffany Beaudin ... Editor
  • Joel Goodman ... Composer
  • Alex Ordanis ... Director of Photography, Associate Producer
  • Halim Benzine ... Associate Producer
  • Kelsey Irvine ... Associate Producer
  • Daniel Hewett ... Sound Recordist
  • Emmanuel Lachapelle ... Cameraman

Production Details

Prod. Co.
Jet Black Iris America LLC
Years of Production
Paris, New York, Montreal
Prod. Partners
Jet Black Iris Corporation, Jet Black Iris Productions UK

Distribution Details

Release year
Vienna Film Festival, Hamptons Int'l Film Fest, Hot Docs, IDFA, DOC NYC, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Dokufest, Camden Int'l Film Festival, Thessaloniki Doc Fest, Hot Springs, It's All True Brazil, Irvine Film Fest, San Francisco/UK/Vancouver Jewish Film Festivals
Oscar® Nominee: Best Documentary Short Subject 2016; IDA Awards Nominee; Cinema Eye Honors Nominee; Winner: Thessaloniki Audience Award; Winner: LA Italia Film Festival Best Short Film; Honourable Mention: Hot Docs Best Mid-Length Doc
U.S. theatrical run, international TV broadcasts, many international film festivals
Broadcast (Prod.)
ZDF (Germany), ARTE (France), DR (Denmark)
Broadcast (Acq.)
HBO (USA), VPRO/npo (Holland), YLE (Finland), TVP (Poland), CBC Doc Channel, Radio-Canada (Canada), SVT (Sweden), Channel 1 (Israel)
French, English, German


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